The Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday warned that the World Bank will not grant loan to any state in the country if Kaduna is not included.
Kaduna, Abia, Ogun, and Lagos are among the states that applied for loan from World Bank but while the senate approved the facility for others, it rejected the $350 million request of Kaduna based on opposition from the three senators representing the state on the ground that Kaduna was already too heavily indebted.
Speaking at the maiden edition of Barnawa branch of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Law Week in Kaduna, El-Rufai wondered why the upper legislative chamber blocked his state when it “met all the conditions” for the loan.
Represented by his deputy Barnabas Bala Bantex, the governor disclosed that the World Bank assured him that if Kaduna, which met 90 per cent requirement to access the facility was denied by National Assembly, then no other state would be considered.
He accused the three senators from the state of playing politics with the issue of development.
His words, “When we applied for the loan, some people brought politics into it; but the World Bank is saying that Kaduna State has met 90 percent of the loan requirement and, therefore, it would not give the loan to any state that applied, if Kaduna State is not given.
“What we are saying is that we should separate politics from the need to develop our state as quickly as possible.”
Earlier in his address, the governor said the role of the NBA is the struggle for the improvement of the socio-economic situation of the country.
He said insecurity and corruption were the main challenges facing Nigeria and called on the NBA to collaborate with the government to address the menace.
“Insecurity and corruption are the major set back to any nation. When there is corruption, it ruins the economy and retards development. Insecurity discourages foreign investors.
“For us to tackle these, there must be a synergy with stakeholders like the NBA and the judiciary,” El-Rufai stated.
He commended the NBA for the choice of its theme, “Curbing corruption and insecurity in Nigeria: Socio economic, legal and political perspectives,” stressing that corruption and insecurity were two major factors that could retard the development of Nigeria.