Katsina Defends $110m Loan Request from Islamic Bank

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James Emejo in Abuja
The Katsina State Government on Tuesday defended its $110 million (about N34.5 billion) loan request from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) before the House of Representatives Committee on Debt.

The State Commissioner for Health, Mariya Bala Usman said the proceeds would be used to erect 136 health centres in the 34 local government areas, including a teaching hospital for the three universities in the state; a nursing school; an infectious disease centre among others.

She said the loan, which is to be implemented under a four-year programme, would be converted to a grant by IDB should the government implement the loan agreement to the letter within the specified timeframe.

She said: “This loan will be used to finance the Katsina State Health System Programme, which is largely to address maternal mortality.
“The second phase is for the establishment of a teaching hospital for the three universities in the state. We also want to establish an infectious disease hospital.”

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi (APC, Osun) said from the presentation, it appeared the government got its priority right at a time when many states are battling with health issues.

The Kaduna State Government team led by the Commissioner of Finance, Suleiman Abdul Kwari, was further commended for defending the over N45.3bn foreign loan proposal to be borrowed from the World Bank.