May 20, 2024

The Kaduna State House of Assembly has constituted a committee to investigate how the $350 million World Bank loan obtained by the former Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration was spent, as well as other financial spending and abandoned projects initiated by the immediate past government between 2015 to 2023.

The speaker of the assembly, Yusuf Liman, inaugurated the 13-man committee during plenary on Tuesday.

The constitution of the committee followed a motion moved by the member representing the Kauru constituency, Mugu Yusuf, asking the House to investigate all the loans obtained by the El-Rufai administration.

“There have been uncomplimentary comments and assassinations of character on the leadership of the state, which the assembly cannot sit and watch. That is why I came up with this motion that the Speaker constitute a committee to investigate the allegations and negative comments on them,” he said.

“This is the only way the state can rekindle its confidence in its development partners, collaborators, and also those who give us loans and grants; failure to do this will push the indicators of the state to a situation whereby nobody will want to do business with us.”

During the debate, the former speaker, Yusuf Zailani, during whose tenure as presiding officer of the House that the Kaduna State Government obtained the loan, denied that the ninth assembly approved the loan for the executive.

“I suffered a lot in order not to give approval for the loan to be collected; even the then deputy Speaker Isaac Auta Zankhai was against me because I disagreed with the loan to be collected. I told the then-governor to look at the number of loans we had on hand, and he didn’t listen to me,” he said.

In their separate submissions, the member representing the Jaba constituency, Henry Marah, and his counterpart from the Zangon Kataf constituency, Samuel Kambai, insisted that the legislators have the duty and constitutional rights to give approval before the governor can go ahead to collect loans but lamented that the case of Kaduna was different.

They therefore urged the committee to summon the 8th and 9th assembly speakers, along with some members of the same assembly, to come and give explanations on how the loans were collected and spent.

Liman urged the ad-hoc committee to invite the speakers of the 8th and 9th assemblies and all other relevant stakeholders and agencies for investigation.

He assured the House that the matter will be properly looked into, saying they will give everyone the liberty to speak the truth.

The 13-man committee included Aminu Anti, representing Doka Gabasawa as the chairman; Yusuf Mugu Kaura as the deputy chairman; Munira Tanimu, Hon. Shehu Yunusa as member and nine others.

In March, Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State said that he inherited a huge debt burden of $587m, N85bn, and 115 contractual liabilities from the immediate past administration of El-Rufai, lamenting that the huge debt has eaten deep into the state’s federal allocation.

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