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Senate Approval: Amosun, Labour Party disagree on $350m World Bank loan

Ibikunle Amosun

…Loan does not conform with constitution-Labour Party    … Holds robust future for Ogun state- Amosun

Governor Ibikunle Amosun and State Chairman of Labour Party in Ogun State Comrade Arabambi Abayomi Olufemi have disagreed on the approval of $350 million World Bank loan approved by the Senate on Thursday. While Amosun said that the  loan holds robust future for the developnent of Ogun State, Comrade Abayomi claimed that the loan does not meet the requirement of the law following failure to disclose details to the public before approval.

The Senate at plenary on Thursday  had approved $350 million dollars World Bank loan for Ogun State Development Policy Operation ( DPO ) as contained in the 2016-2018 Rolling Plan.

The approval followed the presentation of a report on the loan by Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Sen. Shehu Sani.

Presenting the report, Sani said that the committee observed that the Ogun State DPO budget for the loan had been approved by World Bank in 2016.

He added that the loan was further captured in the 2016-2018 borrowing plan as approved by the National Assembly.

Sani noted that the committee also observed that the credit facility had an attractive low financing interest rate below five (5) per cent, moratorium of five (5) years and a twenty five-year (25) maturity term.

He said “the facility has already been captured in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

“It also has low and acceptable loan sustainability level, therefore it is eligible to borrow.

“The DPO loan will further help to enhance the capacity of the state government.

“The state has met the various conditions laid by World Bank and as such qualified for the loan.

“It has also put in place institutional framework for transparent and accountable budgetary and financial purpose.”

He explained that the projects to be funded by the facility would engender economic growth, increase revenue generation and create employment opportunities.

“The committee recommends that the Senate should go ahead and approve the loan as contained in the 2016-2018 external borrowing rolling plan of President Muhammadu Buhari,’’ Sani added.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, put the report to  voice vote and was adopted by the lawmakers.

Ogun state Labour party described the approval  as smoked screen , induce  ,compromise and fraudulent approval of $350 million  World Bank loan for Governor of Ogun state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and APC members by the APC controlled Senate today Thursday the 9th of November, 2017.

Chairman of Labour Party in Ogun State, Comrade Arabambi  Abayomi Olufemi expressed shock at the approval by the Senate despite the  demand for full information on  the request of the then Acting president Prof Yemi Osinbajo to the National Assembly on behalf of 10 states for foreign Loan request of $1.49billion. This was based  on the previous approval of the federal executive council for 2016-2018 external borrowing rolling plan dated by the executive on 25th May 2017 but submitted to the National Assembly on June  6th, 2017 and  read by both the Senate and House of reps on the floor of their chambers same June 6, 2017.

“We are most shocked by the gross irresponsibilities, penchant for disrespect for the rule of Law and constitution by the Senate leadership under Senator Bukola Saraki who for this kind displayed corruption has a lot of cases instituted against him by the present Administration, he lamented in a statement sent to Nigerian NewsDirect.

Arabambi explained in the statement that Ogun State Labour Party wrote a  letter to the Clerk of the National assembly dated July 14th 2017 where our party requested underl the freedom of information act 2011

He said that the Clerk of the National Assembly, through the Director Committee Services, Mr Rahmatu Ahmad wrote a response to my office dated August 2017 where the votes and proceedings of the Tuesday June 6,2017 and Thursday July  27,2017 were attached.

On the 6th of June 2017, as attached by the Clerk officially to Ogun State LP, the then Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo requested the approval of both chambers for external loans to 10 states including the projects such states intends to execute.

Ogun and Kaduna State did not indicate any project as enshrine in the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 ý. “Subsequently, the House of Representatives at his plenary on Thursday 27 th July 2017 rejected the loan request for Ogun state and Kaduna for Delopment Policy Operations (DPO). Copies Attached. Suddenly The Senate was compromised by Gov Amosun through the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign debt headed by the fierce enemy Of Gov Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State in person of Senator Shehu Sani who himself is nursing Governorship Ambition in Kaduna come 2019. It was a rude shock and political rascally on the part of Senator Shehu Sani who on November 2nd 2017 submitted his committee approval to the Senate only For Ogun state out of 10 states submitted for consideration by the then Acting president . Why Ogun State Alone?

Labour Party official stated the process employed after Sen Shehu Sani committee Approval.

In this, he said the party  wrote a letter to both Clerk of the National Assembly and the Clerk of the Senate demanding for the FULL INFORMATION AND DETAILS ABOUT THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL AND FOREIGN DEBT ýAPPROVAL REPORT FOR WORLD BANK CREDIT FACILITY FOR OGUN STATE AS SUBMITTED AND PRESENTED TO THE SENATE ON WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 1ST 2017 BY THE CHAIRMAN SENATE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL AND FOREIGN DEBT: SENATOR SHEHU SANI.

According to him, the party equally wrote a petition to the Senate president intimating him about the lawlessness and legislative impunity exhibited by the Committee on local and foreign Debt . He added that party equally wrote a petition to all the remaining 108 Senators of the federal Republic in respect of the compromise nature of the selective loan Approval to Ogun State.

The law is clear which states that  In part 10, section 44 sub (1) (2a),and (2b)ý of the FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT 2007, ACT NO 31 STATES The conditioned of borrowing and Verification of compliance limits as follows

44 (1) “Any Government in the federation or its agencies and corporations desirous of borrowing shall specify the purpose for which the borrowing is intended and present a cost benefit analysis, detailing the economic and social benefits of the purpose to which the intended borrowing is to be applies. “

44(2)ý “Without prejudice to subsection (1) of this section, each borrowing shall comply with the following conditions: (a) The existence of the authorization in the Appropriation or other Act or Law for the purpose for which the borrowing is to be utilized. “

From the above  ý, Ogun state Governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun request did not conformed with the provision of this Act and constitution of Nigeria, because the project for which the loan was intended was not specified but because of Governor Amosun  penchant for corruption and fraudulent intention for eternal enrichment, Senator Shehu Sani allowed himself to be compromise by turning his face away from the provision of the 1999 Constitution and provision of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007. Another poser was why Senator Shehu Sani committee choose to ONLY Approved Ogun state world Bank loan for non existing Development Policy Operation and ignore that of his State Kaduna.

“We are not unmindful of the promise of support for Senator Shehu Sani Governorship Ambition in 2019 by Governor Amosun as part of the agreement reached before the illegal approval was made today. “

However, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has said that the 350 million dollars World Bank loan for state’s Development Policy Operation (DPO), approved by the Senate yesterday, will be a means of  ensuring a robust and promising future for the state.

Amosun said the loan, contained in the 2016-2018 Rolling Plan and approved, following the presentation of a report by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Shehu Sani, will help fast track completion of developmental projects, proposed for the 2018 fiscal year.

He was speaking at the Treasury Board meeting on the state’s 2018 Budget, at the Oba’s complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, yesterday.

“Let me say that we must never rest on our oars. Much is expected of us, much is equally expected to be done, as we are unwaveringly committed to laying a lasting legacy for the good people  of Ogun state.

“I therefore charge stakeholders to cross fertilise  ideas, towards attaining the optimal growth and continued development, the good people of our dear state crave”, Amosun added.

The 2018 budget, according to him, is very significant and exceptional, because, “it is the last full year budget during the tenure of his administration.

“It is, therefore, critical for us to continue to deepen the collaboration and strengthen our budgetary processes, so as to bequeath an enduring  legacy to the next administration.

“Therefore, I charge all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be more thorough in your presentations and deliberations. I enjoin you to continue with a high sense of dependability and consistency, which has become the hallmark of the Ogun State Public Service, in considering the Advance Proposals and Draft Estimates for the 2018 Budget.

The governor however noted that without the institutionalisation of financial probity and accountability; improved component of public finance system; a regime of fiscal responsibility; prudent and efficient management of resources; a dependable and effective work force; and above all, transparency and good governance, all the achievements of the government will be a mirage.

“As we approach the twilight of our administration, we aim to finish strong, on a high, and ultimately finish well in our quest to rapidly develop our dear state”

Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Ms. Adenrele Adesina described the 2018 budget as a reflection of the budget of the last six years and the administration’s desire for the state in the future.

She urged heads of MDAs to sustain the teamwork spirit in order to achieve effective budget implementation.

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