Senate Committee Denies Buhari’s $ 700 Million Loan Request For Water Project | The Guardian Nigeria News
The Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a loan for sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene in urban and rural areas (SURWASH) under the supervision of the Ministry of Resources in water.
This came 24 hours after the health ministry appeared before the panel to seek approval of $ 200 million for the purchase of mosquito nets and malaria medicine.
Lawmakers, who took turns criticizing the request, asked the ministry to provide the panel with the loans collected so far and the projects they were linked to.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, recalled that three different loans had been approved for various water-related projects.
He said: “$ 450 million for the Ministry of Water project financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and another loan of $ 6 million under the integrated development program also financed by the AfDB and Gurara Water Project.
“You have to tell us what you are doing with $ 700 million for water projects.” The panel therefore decided to summon the minister, Adamu Suleiman, to offer an explanation of the previous loans and how they were deployed.
In his contribution, Senator Obinna Ogba said he was against the offer, arguing that previous credits had not been felt. Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe sought out the criteria for selecting recipient states amid his opposition to the new loan.
Also opposed, Senator Sani Musa advised the committee to choose one that works after careful consideration. Earlier, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Ms Esther Didi Walson-Jack, who could not provide a convincing explanation for the previous loans, told the committee that SURWASH would last five years, adding that $ 640 million was needed. for the project and $ 60 million for capacity building.
FURTHER, the Senate Interior Committee announced that it will meet with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other stakeholders on the decongestion of detention centers and the fate of detainees awaiting trial.
Committee chair Senator Kashim Shettima dropped the hint when Nigerian correctional officials appeared before the 2022 budget advocacy panel. He confirmed that 47,000 of the 66,000 detainees in detention centers of the federation were awaiting trial.
The former governor of Borno state regretted that the situation had resulted in the congestion of centers nationwide. The legislator added that the decongestion of penitentiary establishments had become necessary to make them habitable and truly reforming prisoners.
The committee said it would advocate an upward revision of the cost of feeding prisoners from N450 to N1000 per day. The NCoS, in its 2022 estimates, proposed an increase in the cost of feeding from N450 to N750, citing the high cost of food products. But a member of the panel, Senator Chukwuka, said the amount was “woefully insufficient to feed the detainees.”