Ex-Kaduna speaker denies approving a $350m World Bank loan for El-Rufai


Kaduna State Assembly Investigates Previous Administration’s Loans and Spending

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Yusuf Zailani, a former Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, has refuted claims that the Ninth Assembly, under his leadership, approved the $350 million World Bank loan secured by former Governor Nasir El-Rufai. This denial comes amidst ongoing scrutiny into the financial activities of the previous administration.

The Kaduna State House of Assembly has initiated a comprehensive probe into the finances, loans, contract projects, and other expenditures undertaken by the immediate past government between 2015 and 2023, during El-Rufai’s tenure. The assembly set up a 13-member fact-finding committee to conduct this investigation, following a motion moved by Mugu Yusuf, the representative of the Kauru Constituency.

Inaugurating the committee during plenary, Speaker Yusuf Liman underscored the importance of examining all loans acquired by the previous administration. This investigation was prompted by Governor Uba Sani’s recent remarks at a town hall meeting, where he lamented inheriting a substantial debt burden from his predecessor.

Governor Sani revealed that the state was left with minimal funds, insufficient to cover salaries, as his administration inherited loans totaling $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from El-Rufai’s government.

Addressing the allegations regarding loan approvals, Zailani clarified in a video shared on Wednesday that he did not endorse the $350 million World Bank loan. He emphasized the need for transparency and accountability in managing the state’s financial obligations.

In addition to examining financial matters, the State Assembly has authorized the committee to summon key figures, including former speakers of the 8th and 9th Assemblies, finance commissioners, former managing directors of Kaduna Markets, and budget and planning commissioners, to provide insights into the state’s financial landscape during the previous administration. This probe represents a significant step towards ensuring fiscal responsibility and prudent management of public resources in Kaduna State.

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