Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso
Kano State governor, Alhaji Rabi’u Kwankwaso, has directed the state Ministry of Health to work out modalities for to ‘exit’ from a $27 million loan, which it obtained from the World Bank for a malaria control project in the state.
Though the loan was obtained prior to the birth of the present administration, the governor stated that the directive had become imperative since the state government had enough funds to cater for the health concerns of its citizenry.
Kwankwaso, who spoke while exchanging views with the World Bank Country director in Nigeria, Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, said: “As matter of policy, the state government is not taking any loan. What government is getting presently is enough to manage our health challenges.”
He explained that exiting from the loan did not mean discarding the programme, stating that if it was found worthy of continuation, the state government would single-handedly fund it.
The governor recalled that during his first tenure, his administration did not take any loan, pointing out that as far as the state government was concerned, there was no compelling need to borrow money now.
He maintained however, that his administration is favourably disposed to grants and projects, which could be executed through counterpart funding for the good of the citizenry.
Kwankwaso also appealed for the advice and expertise of the World Bank in executing projects in the state, assuring that his government is also working relentlessly on HIV/AIDS control.
The governor said the state government was working towards executing life-changing projects in the state, including the construction of a road over Kwarin Gogau drainage, which was considered the biggest breeding ground for mosquitoes in the state capital.
The World Bank Country Director, Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, who told the governor that Kano was one of the seven states involved in the bank’s funded Malaria Control Project, stressed that a committee would be constituted to facilitate implementation of the project.
She added that the five million doses of anti-malaria vaccines in health stores in the state were yet to be used, appealing to him to ensure that the vaccines were distributed for public consumption.