The Ogun government on Monday explained why it approached the World Bank to secure a $350 million loan.
The state Commissioner for Budget and planning, Mrs Aderenle Adesina, and her counterparts in Ministries of Education, Agriculture and Commerce and Industry at a press conference in Abeokuta, also dismissed claims that the House of Representatives Committee on Loans, Aids and Debt Management had disproved the loan request.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the representatives of the Ogun government had on Wednesday sought the approval of the National Assembly as part of the requirements for granting such foreign loan.
Adesina explained that the Ogun government had become an” attractive bride” to international financial institutions, including the World Bank, due to the phenomenal infrastructural development that it had undergone in the last six years.
“World Bank considers states that have demonstrated ability to perform and partners with such states in development,’’ she said.
She added that any serious government desirous of development should take advantage of such facility which she described as a “concessionary loan” offered at two per cent interest rate.
“Firstly, the loan attracts just two per cent interest as against the 22 percent obtainable in the normal financial market.
“The loan is also payable over a period of 25 years with a five -year moratorium which means that we have about 30 years to pay it.
“It will be foolhardy for any government to reject such an attractive offer,” she said.
The commissioner explained that the loan is not like the conventional loan where the full amount being sought was disbursed at once, adding that disbursement would be made in tranches based on performance.
Adesina added that the highest that the present administration in the state could get was a maximum of 25 per cent.
“This is a loan mainly for the future as the subsequent administrations in the state stand to benefit more as more tranches are disbursed in the course of time.
“It will therefore be misleading to claim that the loan is meant just for the present administration,’’ she said.
The commissioner explained that if granted the loan, it would be used to further boost government’s transformational programme in the agricultural, educational and industrial sectors among others.
Adesina refuted media reports that the House of Representatives had denied approval for the loan.
“There is a chain in the process. The Federal Executive Council as well as the Senate have already approved our request and we had also approached the House of Representatives for its approval.
“The engagement with the House of Representatives is ongoing and we are still on course and it will be wrong for anyone to conclude that the House had rejected our proposal,” she said.
She argued that the Amosun -led administration should be commended for raising the internally generated revenue from N700 million monthly to N7 billion monthly.
Adesina said that the present administration intended to further raise the figure to N15 billion monthly and it needed to take advantage of such loans to effect more infrastructural developments to move the state to an enviable height.