Senate yesterday approved $75 million World Bank loan for the Development Policy Operation, DPO, of Edo State as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari amid tangible number of dissenting voices by the senators.
This followed the consideration of a report of the seven-man Ad hoc Committee on Local and Foreign Debts led by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South).
Gaya, while presenting the committee report, urged the Senate to approve the loan, which he stated was meant for the state’s development policy operation II already considered by the World Bank.
In his contributions to the debate, Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi Central) said that Edo State had since met conditions for the loan approval by the World Bank, pointing out that the first tranche of the loan was judiciously used by the state government.
According him, “the World Bank loan is better than anyone from commercial banks or bond from the stock exchange market, because the development works that will be witnessed in the state will be unprecedented.”
Also supporting the approval of the loan, leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) encouraged other states with genuine needs to take advantage of such low interest loans, rather than the patronising commercial banks.
Ndumes aid, “The first tranche of this borrowing plan had already been approved by the senate and the World Bank has strict borrowing conditions, which the state has met. I therefore move that we approve this loan”.
Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South) agreed that the loans would bring about more gains for the people of the state through improved Internal Generated Revenue, IGR, private sector investment and good governance.
The lawmaker said though he personally supported the approval of the loan, majority of people in the state have kicked against it due to the debt status of the state which has become a thing of worry to them.
Urhoghide said he received over 2, 000 text messages and e-mails against the loan on the day the senate received the letter from President Buhari.
He said Edo is the fourth debtor state in Nigeria, according to the Debt Management Office, DMO, “and based on this, the people have said that they do not want the loan and the wish of the people should be respected.”

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