VIDEO: Senate investigates Kogi over unapproved $500m foreign loan

The Senate on Wednesday directed its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to investigate an allegation that the Kogi State government is planning to borrow $500m (about N180 billion) from the United Arab Emirates without approval by the state House of Assembly and the National Assembly.

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, asked the committee to ascertain if the loan had been taken.

Saraki gave the committee a maximum of five days to present its findings to the Senate.

The decision to carry out the investigation was taken based on a motion raised by Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi West.

Citing Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate’s standing rule, Melaye had claimed that the state government was planning to get the loan with the illegal support of the Federal Ministry of Finance under an arrangement called debt refinancing.

He claimed that if not stopped by the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly, the loan would further mortgage the future of the state.

The federal lawmaker claimed that citizens of the state are already groaning under N40bn debt.

He claimed that state government was planning to spend the loan being sought to fund the Kogi State and presidential elections next year.

He said, “It is disastrous for a state, whose debt already stands at N40bn, to be secretly planning to borrow N180bn.

“What it means is that the government is borrowing to pay borrowed money.”

Senator Attai  Aidoko from Kogi East also said the planned loan was unacceptable to the people of the state.

Idoko said there were no capital projects that were ongoing the state.

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