The Senate has approved the payment of a N10 billion loan to Kogi State.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Clifford Ordia, while presenting his report on the floor of the House on Wednesday said the Kogi State government carried out repairs on seven Federal Government roads in the state.
“The approved sum is in Capital Expenditure which has to do with refund to the State Government for monies spent in the execution of Federal Government Projects in the state,” he said.
Ordia, while reading the report of his committee said necessary findings conducted showed that due process was followed by the Kogi State government in executing the Federal Government projects.
This approval is coming two days to the governorship election in the state.
It, therefore, met resistance by Senators from opposition party. The Senators questioned the timing of the approval of the loan.
Minority Leader Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the opposition lawmakers asked the Senate to delay the approval until next week noting that the approval appears hasty.
“This is not the right time to approve such loan refund. Exigency of the time suggest that we should delay for one week so that the money would not be used for something else,” Abaribe said.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan disagreed with Abaribe saying the loan request came in the eight assembly and has been delayed enough. He added that the approval of the refund only coincides with election.
“Kogi State applied for this in the last Senate, all the other states were paid. Kogi was not approved at that time, we as a Senate has seen it as a necessity and it is a coincidence,” he said.
Lawan then subjected the matter to a voice vote and ruled in favour of those who supported its approval despite protests from opposition lawmakers.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in October this year, sent a letter to the Senate, seeking approval for the payment of N10 billion to settle local debts incurred by Kogi State government as a result of the projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.