Kaduna deputy governor clarifies his comments on World Bank loan

Kaduna deputy governor clarifies his comments on World Bank loan

- The deputy governor of Kaduna state, Barnabas Bala, is in the spotlight for a statement he made recently

- Bala had expressed a personal opinion while delivering a speech for his boss and Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai

- He has clarified that the comment was his own opinion and exonerated El-Rufai from any wrongdoing

The deputy governor of Kaduna state, Barnabas Bala, has clarified a statement credited to Governor Nasir El-Rufai that the World Bank told him no other state would access its loan since Kaduna was denied.

The deputy governor, who expressed regret over the statement, made the clarification on Monday, April 16, at a ceremony of the Barnawa branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

According to him, the views were not in Governor El-Rufai’s speech which he read, in trying to highlight points on the refused loan.

Kaduna deputy governor clarifies his comments on World Bank loan

Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex said his views does not represent that of the Kaduna state government. Photo credit: KSG

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His words: “I inadvertently strayed beyond affirming my sense of outrage. As the deputy governor of Kaduna state, I am understandably unimpressed by the specious and unbecoming arguments that certain senators employed to deny my state a loan the World Bank had adjudged it eminently qualified.

“This same Senate passed loan requests for other states, including some that the World Bank has not yet approved. I, therefore, decided to point out the moral burden involved in refusing to endorse a loan request that had been approved for Kaduna state by the World Bank since June 20, 2017.

“If the World Bank’s positive assessment of the finances of a state is deemed irrelevant by the Senate, why would it accept the assessments made of other states by the same bank? “If the House of Representatives endorsed the loan based on the facts, why should the Senate let the frustrations of a few individuals lead them to abandon facts for sentiment?

“In trying to highlight these points, I inadvertently strayed beyond affirming my sense of outrage. It is certainly not for me to suggest how the World Bank chooses to relate with the Federal Government of Nigeria and its sub-national entities.

“In fact, we do not wish the unfair treatment meted out to us on any other state or entity that is seeking development finance to build human capital and enhance their economic prospects.I regret the insinuations that came in off-the-cuff remarks I made after delivering the governor’s prepared text at the NBA event. It is neither my view nor that of the Kaduna state government."

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Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives from Kaduna state have faulted the Nigerian Senate for declining to approve the $350m World Bank loan facility being sought by the state government.

The lawmakers who cut across the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party said they backed the loan plan of the Nasir El-Rufai administration, adding that it will boost infrastructural development in the state.

They alleged that the Senate’s rejection of the loan was political, stressing that the three senators from the state who are supposed to put the interest of the people above their personal interests were abusing their powers.

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Source: Naija.ng

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