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Senate rejects Buhari’s $700 loan request, summons water minister


The Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on Wednesday rejected the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.),’s loan request to the National Assembly for the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene project under the Ministry of Water Re.s.

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The development came 24 hours after the Ministry of Health appeared before the committee to seek approval for $200m for the procurement of mosquito nets and malaria medicines.

Members of the panel took turn to fault the loan for the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene project.

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They asked the officials of the Ministry of Water Re.s led by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Walson-Jack, to furnish the committee with update of loans collected so far for water projects in the ministry.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, said three different loans had been approved for various water projects.

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Ordia said, “$450m to the ministry for water project being financed by the Africa Development Bank and another $6m loan under the Integrated Programme for Development also financed by the Africa Development Bank; and the Gurara Water Project. You need to tell us what you are doing with $700m for water projects.”

The committee t.fore agreed to summon the Minister of Water Re.s, Adamu Suleiman, to give explanation on the loans and the state of loans collected so far.

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Senator Obinna Ogba said he would work against granting approval for the loan because some loans had been collected for water projects which have not been completed.

He said, “For this particular loan, I won’t give my support. Enough is enough.”

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Also kicking against the loan, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe demanded the criteria for selecting the benefiting states.

He added that details provided by the Permanent Secretary were not enough to justify the loan.

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The senator said, “What are the criteria for selecting the benefiting states? The details you are providing is not enough; what are the projects you want to do with $640m and how many water are you going to do?

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