frustrating Lagos projects
governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday dragged President Goodluck
Jonathan before the House of Representatives for allegedly frustrating a $600
million loan from the World Bank. Scuttling the loan, Fashola told the House
Committee on Aid, Loans and Debts, that it would likely heighten the suffering
of about 20 million people in Lagos.
“We have a
commitment with the World Bank for a loan of $600 million offered to Lagos. It
is supposed to be in three tranches and the first tranche was paid in 2011. We
were expecting the payment of the second tranche when we got the shocking
information that the loan facility had been stopped,” Fashola narrated.
Adeyinka Ajayi-led committee that no official of the Federal Government
supplied any reasons for the stoppage, but that the Coordinating Minister of
Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala merely told him on the telephone that his
state had been excluded from the 2013 and 2014 borrowing plans.
reasons for stopping the loan, the governor said: “Whatever the reasons are,
for me, development and fairness and consistency are more paramount. And the
interests of those people are more paramount, really. Because the roads have no
political colour. The water that we have to provide has no political colour and
security is politically-blind.”
committee that the stoppage of the loan had jeopardized his state’s 2013 and
2014 budgets and that road, water and other development projects were bound to
suffer. Fashola expressed disappointment that the Federal Government would seek
to frustrate a measure aimed at improving the lot of the citizens, moreso when
his state had “ diligently pursued fiscal disciplines and prudence on the basis
of which the World Bank” released the first tranche of $200 million.