Following a request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Senate to approve World Bank’s Development Policy Operation loan for Edo State, the lawmakers on Thursday approved the $75 million facility.
Mr. Buhari had sought the approval of the National Assembly for the loan to be accessed by the Edo State Government.
The approval of the Senate followed the consideration of the report by Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano) led committee, to which the loan request was referred.
In its report, the committee urged the Senate to approve the request, explaining that the World Bank had already expressed satisfaction the state was ready for the loan.’
“The first tranche of this borrowing plan had already been approved by the Senate. The World Bank has strict borrowing conditions – which the state has met,” said Majority Leader, Ali Ndume (APC Borno), while supporting the motion.
Also supporting the request, Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi), said that Edo State had qualified for the loan as the state met the World Bank conditions. Mr. Aliero added that the loan would help improve the state’s internally generated revenue. He also enjoined other states that have capacity to utilize loans productively to borrow.
But Mattew Urhogbide (PDP Edo) moved against the motion, arguing that there was the need for the Senate to verify some of the claims made by the state government on the usage of the first tranche of the loan.
“I am not standing to oppose what has been granted by Mr. President or the desire of the state government. I am here to look at some of the views expressed by the people on the things that have been done with the first tranche.
“We need to verify some of the claims that have been made. We need to look at the report given by the World Bank to see if it is satisfactory,” Mr. Urhogbide said.
The $75 million dollars loan is the second tranche of a $225 million dollar Development Policy Operation loan approved for the state by the World Bank.
The first tranche was scheduled for implementation in the 2012-2014 Development Plan.