…says Senate abandoned facts for sentiments

THE Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bala, has clarified statement credited to Governor Nasir el-Rufai that the World Bank told him no other state would access its loan since Kaduna was denied, saying “it is neither my view nor that of Kaduna State Government.”

The Deputy Governor, who regretted the statement, spoke on Monday at a ceremony of the Barnawa branch of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, contending that though the views were not in Governor el-Rufai’s speech which he read, in trying to highlight points on the refused loan, “I inadvertently strayed beyond affirming my sense of outrage.”

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State

His statement

In a statement, Bala said: “As the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, I am understandably unimpressed by the specious and unbecoming arguments that certain Senators employed to deny my state a loan the World Bank had adjudged it eminently qualified.

“This same Senate passed loan requests for other states, including some that the World Bank has not yet approved.

“I, therefore, decided to point out the moral burden involved in refusing to endorse a loan request that had been approved for Kaduna State by the World Bank since June 20, 2017.

“If the World Bank’s positive assessment of the finances of a state is deemed irrelevant by the Senate, why would it accept the assessments made of other states by the same bank?

“If the House of Representatives endorsed the loan based on the facts, why should the Senate let the frustrations of a few individuals lead them to abandon facts for sentiment?

‘I regret the insinuation’

He continued: “In trying to highlight these points, I inadvertently strayed beyond affirming my sense of outrage. It is certainly not for me to suggest how the World Bank chooses to relate with the Federal Government of Nigeria and its sub-national entities.

“In fact, we do not wish the unfair treatment meted out to us on any other state or entity that is seeking development finance to build human capital and enhance their economic prospects.

“I regret the insinuations that came in off-the-cuff remarks I made after delivering the governor’s prepared text at the NBA event. It is neither my view nor that of the Kaduna State Government.

“These views have already been well articulated by the governor and Commissioner for Finance.”

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