By Saxone Akhaine
Kaduna — Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai has said that if the state is denied the $350 million World Bank loan turned down by the Senate, 13 other states whose foreign loans had been approved may stand the risk of losing the assistance.
El-Rufai, who gave the warning at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Kaduna Branch law week, represented by his deputy Mr. Barnabas Bala Bantex, appealed to the lawyers to intervene in the crisis between Kaduna Government and the three senators representing the state at the National Assembly in facilitating the approval of the foreign loan for the developmental activities in the state.
He said: “There are instances in politics that people appear to think that the welfare of the people can be politicised. I would like to request that you make Nigeria to understand that we have a lot of issues that are inimical to peace.
“The World Bank decided to support the governments in dare need of development in their states. And we along with 13 other states in Nigeria applied for support; unfortunately, we are the only state that met all the World Bank’s conditions, but politics came in within the line. All other states were granted the loans and we were not granted.
“Now, luckily for us, the World Bank is saying that in view of the fact that most of the other states came to Kaduna State to pick on the model that would qualify them for the same loan, they are not going to give the loan to any state if Kaduna State is not granted the loan.”
He, therefore, appealed to the NBA to act as a pressure group against the stance of the Senate in rejecting the loan, noting that “politics has become inimical to progress and the government may not tell you this but we want to tell you to distinguish between politics and the welfare of our people.”
The governor, who further appealed to the NBA to act as a pressure group against the stance of the Senate in rejecting the loan, noted: “Politics has become inimical to progress and the government may not tell you this but we want to tell you to distinguish between politics and the welfare of our people, secure them and ensure their well-being.
“It is not out of order having carefully listened to the position of our senators and having also listened to our position as executive to ensure that the voice of reason prevails.
“The World Bank is now bored down with a moral conscience on the issue. How do we deal with not giving out the loans for which a state government has fully qualified to be granted? We are qualified, that is now the moral issue before the World Bank.”Meanwhile, the keynote speaker at the occasion, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged Nigerians to be more proactive with the fight against the ills in the nation.