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Senate begins investigation of Kogi govt over alleged illegal procurement of N180bn foreign loan

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The Senate on Wednesday resolved to investigate Kogi State government on the allegation of borrowed $500 million (180 billion) from the United Arab Emirates without the required constitutional authorisation from the upper chamber.

It, therefore, mandated its committee on Local and Foreign Debts to probe the allegation and establish the approach used to access the loan and report back to the Senate.

These resolutions followed an adopted motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West.

In his lead debate, the lawmaker pointed out that the State was already indebted to a whopping sum of N40 billion.

Melaye, who rose under orders 42 and 52, added that the alleged loan under investigation was christened Loan of Debt Refinancing, ostensibly to avoid the state government from approaching the National Assembly for approval.

He said the loan would be used to fund the 2019 Kogi State and Presidential elections.

In his words, “What it means is that the Government is borrowing to pay borrowed money.”

In his contribution, Senator Atayi Idoko said that it was unacceptable for the people of the state to accept an illegal borrowing and that it unacceptable for the Senate to allow the alleged borrowing.

The lawmaker also regretted that there were no capital projects going on in the State besides lingering unpaid salaries by the state.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki hit the gavel in affirmation of the majority resolution and accordingly assigned the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to investigate and establish if the loan has been taken.

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