The Senate at its plenary on Wednesday, approved the sum of N10 billion for Kogi State, as a refund for projects the state government executed on behalf of the Federal Government Channels TV reports.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had, earlier on October 15, through a letter sent to the Senate, seeking the approval for the payment of N10 billion to settle local debts incurred by Kogi State government as a result of the projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
However, the Wednesday approval by the Senate, two days to the Kogi State governorship election was resisted by Senators from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other, who questioned the timing of the approval of the loan.
Senator Clifford Ordia, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, while presenting his report on Wednesday, to justify the payment said, said the Kogi government carried out repairs on seven Federal Government roads in the state.
“Based on our findings, some of the highways were in the state of disrepair before the intervention was carried out.
“The state government has paid all the contractors that constructed the road.
“Our humble recommendation is that the senate does approve the refund of N10 billion for projects executed on behalf of the federal government,” Ordia said.
But speaking on behalf of the opposition lawmakers, the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, asked the Senate to delay the approval until next week.
“What I don’t want is the misuse of these funds because it is for the people of the Kogi state,” Abaribe said.
“This is not the right time, this is the time where the exigencies of the moment may be used,” Abaribe said.
However, disagreeing with the opposition Senators’ position, Senate President Ahmed Lawan said the loan request for Kogi State came in the 8th assembly and has been delayed enough, adding that the Senate’s approval of the refund only coincides with the election.
“Kogi State applied for this in the last senate, all the other states were paid. Kogi was not approved at that time, we as a senate has seen it as a necessity and it is a coincidence,” Lawan said.