Serious consequences await future generations of Kaduna indigenes, if the $350m World Bank loan sought by the state is spent unwisely, warned Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central).
Addressing journalists yesterday in Kaduna, Sani, who also happens to be the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts, vowed that the House would not approve the loan, unless it is “satisfied beyond reasonable doubt” that the money would be used prudently.
He added: “Even if my committee approves the loan, it will still come back to the floor of the Senate for final approval. Passing a loan requires a lot of processes and all these processes will be done in public, not behind closed doors.”
Meanwhile, a coalition of women groups that staged a protest in Kaduna last week, has expressed regret to the wife of the state governor, Hajiya Hadiza el-Rufai, and other prominent women, for naming them without consent as patrons.
“We wish to most sincerely apologise for the mix-up in the content of our letter to the Senate during our protest for the approval of $350m for the state,” the group said in a statement.
Sani noted that as head of the senate committee concerned, the loan portends “danger” to his integrity, “if we borrow such amount of money and it is not used for what it is meant for”. And that future generation could hold him responsible as the person who appended his signature to the paperwork.
Stressing that no amount of politicking, protest or pressure would make him compromise, he voiced fear that Kaduna State may not be able to pay the loan in five decades.
He therefore cautioned people of the state against being brainwashed into staging demonstrations on the issue, describing himself as “a symbol” of unpaid for protests in Kaduna.
The statement by the women group added: “We wish to emphasise for the records that Hajiya Hadiza el-Rufai and all the other important women have not been contacted and can never be part of our lobby protest.”
While we wish to categorically exonerate Hajiya Hadiza el-Rufai and all the others, we sincerely regret the inconvenience this might have caused them.”