Senate approves $200m World Bank loan for Lagos

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The Senate on Wednesday, approved the $200 million loan request for the Lagos State government, following deliberation of the report of Ad-hoc Committee on Foreign and Local debt to which the request was referred a fortnight ago.

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Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South), in a motion for the consideration of the report, said: “That the Senate do consider the Report of Ad-Commiittee on Local and Foreign Debts for Special approval of Lagos State Development Policy Operation (DPO) loan budget support of US$200 Million from the World Bank.”

Supported by Senator Remi Tinubu (APC Lagos), Gaya explained that the loan would go a long way developing the state’s infrastructure and in generating jobs for the teeming unemployed in Lagos State.

In his contribution, Senator Danjuma Goje, however warned that the loan should not be taken just for the sake of it, but should be expended judiciously and purposefully so that when it was being paid back people could point to the infrastructures it was used for.

“Mr Senate President, my own is to express caution. Loans are meant to be paid back with interest and so it should be judiciously used to the extent that the people of Lagos State could point to those things it was used for,” he noted.

On his part, Senator George Sekibo called on the Senate to ensure a detailed probe of past loans, adding that the red chamber should be carried along in the implementation of those targeted infrastructures so as to avoid corruption and misapplication of the funds.

“Distinguished colleagues, I want to state that the Senate Committee always look into activities of past loans taken with a view to ascertain how it was used and also that from time to time the Senate should be carried along in the implementation in other to avoid corruption and misapplication of funds,” Sekibo submitted.

Meanwhile, the ‘ayes’ had it, when Senate President Bukola Saraki put the request to a voice vote, after the deliberations.

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