Senator Opposes Niger Govt over N21.5bn Sukuk Loan


By Laleye Dipo in Minna

Senator David Umaru representing Niger East senatorial zone in the National Assembly has opposed the plan by the Niger State Government to obtain a  N21.5 billion Sukuk bond and has also told the members of the state House of Assembly not to give their nod to the request.

Umaru said the administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had not been judicious in the utilisation of previous facilities obtained as such taking another loan would amount to wasting the resources of the state.

Addressing a news conference in Minna yesterday, the senator said: “A cursory profile of the performance of the administration revealed that a lot is left to be desired,” adding that “it is on record that over N114 billion was accessed by the Bello administration between 2015 and 2017 as FAAC allocation

“The question is how has this huge accrued resources translated to providing critical development infrastructure necessary for the economic and social development that would reduce high unemployment and poverty in the state?” The lawmaker asked.

The senator said official sources had put the state internal and external debts at N17.33 billion and N31.98 billion.

According to him, “Nigerlites are still asking questions as to how the bail-out funds from the federal government and disbursements from the Paris Club refunds amounting to about N250 billion were utilised.

“In its history, Niger State has never experienced a terrible period of wanton dereliction of public accountability and waste like those exhibited by the present administration of Governor Bellowithin three years of its inception.”

The senator also accused the APC government of skewing developments to be executed with the loan in favour of the Niger North senatorial zone where the governor comes from to the detriment of the two other zones.

While saying he would do everything legally possible to ensure the government does not get the approval to draw the loan, Umaru asked the state House of Assembly and the people of the state to oppose the move.

“I want to call on members of the state assembly to withhold approval on this loan request to save the state from further impoverishment. History will not be kind to our assembly members if they do otherwise,” the senator added.