Three Kaduna Senators and the $350m World Bank loan
Prof Mohammed Kabir Isa
I earlier thought that there wouldn’t be any need for me to dabble into lengthy details about this, since I have bared my thoughts on the matter at a philosophical level. However, I am being dragged into some details that I consider unnecessary for a discussion with people who are supposed to know better.
My view is that it wasn’t El-Rufai who presented the request for the World Bank loan to the National Assembly, rather it was President Buhari who did on behalf of the Federal Government and several States of the federation. This is part of a national need for such loan facility for infrastructural development. However, my grouse with the entirety of the Senate proceedings on the matter is obvious that I am starting with simple questions: Is Kaduna the only State applying for this loan? Why was Kaduna singled out of all the States that applied for the loan for this lengthy scrutiny and denial? What criteria was used by the Senate to deny Kaduna State the loan while approval was granted for other States? Is Kaduna the only State denied this approval? Why? If there were other States the Senate denied this loan, which States were they? Were they subjected to the same criteria as Kaduna State? What are these criteria? To simply claim or allude that Kaduna State is the Second most indebted State, I ask: compared to where? In the North or Nigeria? What is the projected change in status, if Kaduna State is to be offered the loan? Does giving this loan to Kaduna State make it the most indebted state in the Country? Is Kaduna the only State in the federation in need of this loan? Is Federal Government not also borrowing to fund a lot of its ongoing projects across the country? Is the Senate then approving the said loan for the Federal Government? Why and on the basis of what criteria? What is the current debt profile of the country then? What are the implications of the national debt to the national economy? In what way does Kaduna state debt profile negatively affects the national or other States? Is it not a part of the National Strategy of Growth Theory of Development to borrow to fund infrastructural development in a recessed economy?
My questions are unending. If you are able to follow my questions then you would appreciate that the good citizens Kaduna State have been short-changed by egoistic people for their selfish interest at the cost of the unsuspecting people of the State. The next question is, should we suffer this fate simply because our senators disagree with the governor? Are they in the Senate because of the governor or because of the people of Kaduna State? Which should be the over- riding and over-arching interest above all? As for me, this is the thrust and crest of my position on this matter. If you are able to appreciate the issues from this perspective and telescope, then you are above board of the reality.
In any case, the debt was packaged for the President by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Abuja. Before a state merits agenda status to enter the list of states applying for the loan, it must have fulfilled certain conditions. Has Kaduna State fulfilled those conditions? Yes! This we know of from one of the Senators; Senator Kabiru Gaya of Kano was quoted as saying on radio that Kaduna State, more than most States, fulfilled all the conditions and requirements of the Loan, as assessed by the World Bank itself. I hope that we are also not ignorant of the realities of collecting loans from the World Bank. Even if Kaduna State didn’t collect, the Federal Government of the day is collecting on your behalf.
Lastly, it’s common knowledge that there’s no love lost between the Governor of Kano State, Ganduje and the former governor, now Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso. The issue here then is, would Kwankwaso do the same for Kano State, if was Kano State was the one involved in this matter? I won’t render an answer for being accused of being prejudicial. But if you are honest to your self and God, you know the truth. My submission or thesis is the this: the World Bank loan is beyond El-Rufai, the so-called lethargically inept senators of Kaduna State, their blind supporters; beyond me or you who is against El-Rufai for some ethnic, emotional jingoisms; or those you who just hate him for denying you plump position; or those of you who just have disdain for him with passion; all these are your business, concerns or problems. My problem is that when some individuals in power have personality issues or conflicts, the people should not be at the centre of their cross-fire or pay the price for their selfish aggrandizement. I am for rationality and reason that serves the interest of the people. I don’t know El-Rufai and have never met him in my life. I have one thousand and one ways of getting to see him, or the present or even past presidents. I ‘m contended with my life, my job and passion, researching social problems and issues and disseminating the findings to my good students across the board. Thanks for reading through my witty write up.
Prof Mohammed Kabir Isa wrote from Kaduna state.