• Gov commissions tractors’ assembly plant
Noah Ebije, Kaduna; with agency report
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has declared that no state will access the World Bank loan without Kaduna being considered as well.
The states seeking loan from the World Bank include Abia, Ogun, Kaduna and Lagos, Enugu, Kano and Kogi.
Senate rejected Kaduna State’s $350 million loan request, on the grounds that the state is already indebted.
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 states that secure loan would have about 30 years to pay it.
El-Rufai, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Barnabas Yusuf-Bala, when he delcared open the maiden edition of the Barnawa branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in Kaduna, yesterday, said the World Bank has decided not to give the loan to any state, if Kaduna is not included in the list.
“When we applied for the loan, some people brought politics into it; but, the World Bank is saying Kaduna has met 90 per cent of the loan requirements and, therefore, it would not give the loan to any state that applied if Kaduna is not given. What we are saying is we should separate politics from the need to develop our states as quickly as possible,” the governor said.
He commended the state’s NBA on the choice of its maiden theme: “Curbing corruption and insecurity in Nigeria: Socio-economic, legal and political perspectives,” and said corruption and insecurity are two major factors which can retard the development of Nigeria.
“In the Southern Kaduna axis, we have collaborated with the Federal Government, by providing military barracks in the area, to reduce insecurity.”
Speaking on corruption, El-Rufai called on mthe NBA to join hands in the fight against corruption, in order to ensure good governance in the state.
He also disclosed that the state has equipped the regional office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), as part of its contribution to assist the commission in fighting corruption.
Meanwhile, El-Rufai, has extolled the industry and giant strides of Kewalram Chanrai Ltd, in its long-term honest efforts to improve Nigeria’s economy, especially in the Agro-allied and industrial sectors, as well as to promote creation of employment for the teeming youth in the country.
He said this during the commissioning of Mahindra Tractor Assembly plant, in Kaduna, recently, and called on other prospective investors to explore the state’s numerous opportunities.
Mahindra Tractors Assembly Plant, a joint initiative of Springfield Agro and the Ramindra Tractors Manufacturing Corporation of India, seeks to genuinely stimulate and consolidate the over 14 years of their partnership in Nigeria, with a view to deepening their venture and boosting Nigeria’s economy, especially in the mechanised agricultural sector, for an end-to-end food solution for the masses, stemming from such laudable experiment in pocket-friendly assistance among all stakeholders, in what it described as, project “keep Nigeria strong and secure.”
El-Rufai commended the Kewalram/Chanrai group, and described their-yielding efforts in the state and the country at large, as a laudable partnership.
He urged other prospective investors to come on board and emulate the dogged determination of the Kewalram group, to improve the living standard of the people and improve the Nigerian economy.