Senate board dismisses Buhari’s $700 million advance loan for water project

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The Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt has turned down President Muhammadu Buhari’s advance solicitation for Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) under the Ministry of Water Resources.

This came 24 hours after the Ministry of Health showed up before the board to look for endorsement for $200 million for obtainment of mosquito nets and intestinal sickness medications.

The lawmakers, who took turns to fault the request, asked the ministry to furnish the panel with loans collected so far and projects they were tied to.

The committee chair, Senator Clifford Ordia, reviewed that three distinct advances had been supported for different water projects. He said: “$450 million for the ministry for water project being financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and another $6 million loan under integrated programme for development also financed by the AfDB and Gurara Water Project.

“You need to tell us what you are doing with $700 million for water projects.” The panel, therefore, resolved to summon the minister, Adamu Suleiman, to offer explanation on previous loans and how they were deployed.

In his commitment, Senator Obinna Ogba said he was against the proposition, contending that past credits were unfelt. Representative Ibrahim Oloriegbe looked to know the models for picking helping states in the midst of his opposition to the fresh loan.

Likewise contradicting, Senator Sani Musa encouraged the advisory group to pick a useful one after an upright survey. Prior, the Permanent Secretary in the service, Mrs. Esther Didi Walson-Jack, who couldn’t offer persuading clarification on past credits, let the panel know that SURWASH would keep going for a very long time, adding that $640 million was required for the task and $60 million for limit building.

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Furthermore, the Senate Committee on Interior has said it would meet with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and different partners over decongestion of custodial focuses and predicament of anticipating preliminary prisoners.

Administrator of the council, Senator Kashim Shettima, dropped the clue when authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service showed up before the board for the 2022 financial plan safeguard. He affirmed that 47,000 of the 66,000 prisoners in custodial focuses across the league were anticipating preliminary.

The Borno State ex-governor regretted that the situation had resulted in congestion of the centres nationwide. The lawmaker added that decongesting the custodial facilities had become necessary to make them habitable and truly reformatory of inmates.The committee said it would champion an upward review of inmates’ feeding cost from N450 to N1000 per day. The NCoS, in its 2022 estimates, proposed increment in the feeding cost from N450 to N750, citing high cost of food items. But a member of the panel, Senator Chukwuka, said the amount was “grossly inadequate to feed the inmates.”

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