El-Rufai probe: Gov Sani govt drawing from foreign loans – Ex-commissioners

Former commissioners during the Nasir El-Rufai administration in Kaduna State have alleged that the current governor of the state, Uba Sani’s administration has been drawing from the various foreign loans facilitated by the immediate-past government.

The former commissioners described the allegation by the Kaduna State House of Assembly that the former governor mismanaged N423 billion state funds as unfair and irresponsible.

This is also as they dismissed accusations that the El-Rufai government drew down the loans before it exited office in May 2023.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday jointly signed by a former Commissioner for Environment, Jafaru Sani, Hafsat Baba (ex-Commissioner, Ministry of Human Services), Thomas Gyang (Public Works and Infrastructure), Bashir Saidu ( Ministry of Finance) Ibrahim Husaini (Ministry of Agriculture), Aisha Dikko (Ministry of Justice), Fausat Ibikunle (Ministry of Housing and Urban Development) and Idris Nyam, (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology).

It could be recalled that the Kaduna State House of Assembly set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate all finances, loans and contracts awarded under the immediate-past governor.

The committee indicted El-Rufai and some of his appointees of siphoning N423bn state funds.

The assembly, in adopting the report of the 13-man panel, asked the state governor to refer El-Rufai, his finance commissioner and other aides to relevant security agencies for investigation over the alleged siphoning of N423bn state funds.

However, the former environment commissioner, Sani, while responding to a fresh allegation about the disbursement of some foreign loans, explained that the number of loans listed in the probe report as having been contracted and disbursed before May 2023 was exaggerated.

Sani, who read the statement on behalf of other ex-cabinet members, stated that some loans were negotiated and agreed as part of the aspirations for the progress and development of the state.

He further explained that the disbursement of several loans listed in the (probe report pages 112-116) had not commenced by the time of the exit of the El-Rufai administration in May 2023.

He added, “These include a $280m loan for the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project.”

He said that the El-Rufai government was justly proud of the planning and hard work its team did to ensure that Kaduna State made the first list of states selected for the SAPZs, adding that AfDB had not commenced the disbursement of the loan by May 2023.

He said contrary to the assertions in the probe report, it was the French Development Agency, not the African Development Bank, that provided the $130.7m loan for the Kaduna Bus Rapid Transport System, adding that no cent was disbursed before the last administration’s exit.

Other loans facilitated by the El-Rufai administration but which were being drawn by the Sani government, according to the statement, included the $20m loan for the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project and the $62.8m Reaching-Out-of-School Children project.

The statement lamented that the (probe) report also listed some loans as fully disbursed when they were only partly disbursed during the El-Rufai administration, saying that they included ACReSAL, as only $2m was received by the Kaduna State Government for the Agro-Climatic Resilience Semi-Arid Landscapes before May 2023, all of which was left intact for the successor government.

It noted that ascribing $494m XDR as the amount disbursed to the state, as the report did, merely continued the pattern of patent falsehood, stressing that only $23.88m was received for AGILE as of May 2023, not the $280m stated in the report.

As of December 2022, the statement explained that Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment had funded 12 major renovations in 110 schools and minor rehabilitation of 550 others, pointing out that the initiative also financed the accelerated implementation of the life skills programme in 19 senior secondary schools.

The former cabinet members further clarified that $352,855 was disbursed to the state in June 2023 for the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene programme, after the El-Rufai administration’s exit.

El-Rufai probe: Gov Sani govt drawing from foreign loans – Ex-commissioners

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