Lawmaker ‘shut down’ for hailing Yahaya Bello

Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho representing Kogi East Senatorial District was shut down for praising governor Yahaya Bello at the Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts which he is a member.

The Clifford Ordia led-committee on Tuesday held a public hearing for states seeking for loans from the World which Kogi State was present to defend its $100 million request.

As Senators from Kogi State who are members of the Committee took turn to comment on the presentation of the request by the Commissioner for Finance, budget and planning, Asiwaju Asiru Idris and Jibrin Isah began to praise, “Yahaya Bello for performing optimally”, rather than addressing the issue.

Reacting, the Committee Chairman, Senator Clifford who was not at ease reminded him of the rules, saying: “Distinguished, we have no time for this, can you please address the matter before us?”

At that point, Senator Echocho who spoke after Smart Adeyemi of Kogi East Senatorial District thanked him and said: “The loan would address insecurity and infrastructure in the state.

He also added that the state would develop agricultural sector where jobs would be provided for the teeming youth in the state.

In his submission, Kogi State Commissioner for Finance, budget and planning, Asiwaju Asiru Idris who represented the State Governor explained that the World Bank loan request of $100 million would be repaid in the next 25 years.

According to him, the debt profile of Kogi State was within the acceptable range for the state to go a borrowing.

“As we speak today, Kogi State’s debt profile as at 31st December 2019 is N123 billion. We can still borrow because we have looked at the analysis of the loan and the very important factor to borrowing money from the World Bank is that the repayment/deduction must not be more than 40% of the allocation for the preceding twelve months.

“Checks on our debt profile deduction is 28% against the threshold of 40%.

“It also shows that your total liability should not exceed 250% of the total amount of loan you are seeking.
“In that we have calculated and documents submitted as at today is 128%. The loan when taken is basically to develop infrastructure.

Kogi State Commissioner appeared before the Committee with other top government officials of the state.

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