Assembly Approves Another Loan for Niger

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State Government has been given the go ahead to take another loan in order for the administration to meet some pressing financial challenges.

The House of Assembly at plenary on Tuesday gave the approval that the executive should draw a N3.2 billion loan from a second generation bank.

The approval given followed a written request by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello for the step to be taken and the favourable report given in that respect by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation.

The governor had said in the letter in which he made the request that the loan was required to enable the administration “finance counterpart funding of donor assisted projects that are in the 2018 budget”.

Some of the projects, according to the governor’s letter, are the Universal Basic Education board which required N1.98 billion, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which needed N720 million, IFAD value chain — N87 million, RAMP111 — N175 million, ANRIN –N250 million and ATASP — N56 million.

The loan is being offered at 17 per cent interest rate and would be repaid in 30 months.

When the matter was tabled by the speaker, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa Guni, the legislators unanimously gave their approval for the executive to draw the loan.

The speaker therefore directed the clerk of the house to communicate its decision to the governor.

The governor had late April this year sent a letter to the Assembly seeking approval to take a N21.5 billion Sukuk loan for the execution of some critical infrastructural projects in the 2018 budget.

The House had not given approval for the acquisition of the loan which some major stakeholders in the state had kicked against because the sharing of the projects to be executed with the money was allegedly skewed to favour a part of the state.