The Senate has approved the $75 million dollar World Bank loan for Edo State.
President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the Senate requesting the approval of the upper chamber to obtain $75 million credit facility from the World Bank for Edo State.
“I am writing to seek the consideration of the national assembly of Nigeria on approval of a request by the Edo state government to obtain a $75 million credit facility from the World Bank,” the president wrote in a letter read on the floor of the upper chamber by Bukola Saraki, Senate President.
This is the second batch of the loan, as the first batch of 75 million dollars was earlier released for the implementation of the 2012 to 2014 development programme.
The Senate set up an Ad Hoc Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to consider the loan request and report back to the Senate.
Presenting the report of the committee at plenary, the Chairman of the Committee Sen Kabiru Gaya said the Edo State Government has reasonably justified the borrowing and has acceptable debt sustainability level.
However a federal lawmaker from Edo State, Sen Mathew Urhoghide, argued that there is a need for the Senate to verify some of the claims made by the state government on the usage of the first tranche of the loan.
The Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State chapter, Mathew Urhoghide on Tuesday said that the just concluded local government elections in Edo state is a “national calamity,” wherein the people of the state were not allowed to make their choices.
According to him, the botched local government polls in Edo on Saturday 20th April passed as one very big embarrassment to the people of the state and ‘’in my judgment, a national calamity.’’
He opined that an election conducted by an electorate body appointed by the state is against known democratic codes and implied that Governor Adams Oshiomole paid the people’s goodwill back with ingratitude.
“The election was a charade, a travesty of known and acceptable democratic practice. It’s just most unfortunate.” He said.
He described the swearing in of 14 local government chairmen as ‘brazen’ and that it was an act which disregarded the interest of the people.
Asked if the elections did not go according to the Electoral Act, he said “all the events that preceded the local government elections is Edo state were all faulty.”
He added that PDP had raised objections, in several letters, concerning the employment of adhoc staff and appointment of electoral staff by the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC).
He said “people really were not allowed to vote,” as a result of the many delays and setbacks which characterized the election process including election materials which were not sent out as at when due.
He said he expected EDSIEC to review the electoral process and create avenues for proper voting. He further described the electoral body as ‘deficient and wicked.’