Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Lagos West) has rejected accusations of being responsible for the inability of the Ogun State Government to secure Senate approval for a $350 million external loan request.
Instead, the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial aspirant in Ogun State, who is known as Yayi among admirers, claimed that an alleged failure to follow due process by the Ogun State Government was responsible for the rejection of the loan request by the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
The Ogun state government had written to the Federal Government seeking approval for a $350 million external loan, which was forwarded by The Presidency to the Senate alongside that of other states external borrowing request for concurrent legislative approval.
Yayi, while speaking to a cross-section of people who paid him a courtesy visit in his Ilaro, Egbado South, Ogun State, home stated that the accusations in certain quarters that he blocked Ogun state from obtaining the Senate approval for the $350 million external loan was untrue and diabolical.
In his words, “Well, it is true they did not mention my name in the first instance. But I knew they were pointing their fingers at me from their accusations, else, I would have cleared the air on the issue before now. Sincerely, I did not oppose the external loan request.
“The fact is, when the Senate order paper was distributed and the loan request letter from Presidency was read by the Senate President, I checked the letter and saw my state, Ogun, being listed. I had no prior information about the loan to aid my argument for or against it. Fortunately, a Senator moved a motion that the Senate President should not allow Senators debate the loan request, but pass it to Senate Committee on Foreign loan for a thorough scrutiny. You know such request has to pass through three stages and due process.”
He continued that, “One would have expected that such loan request would have passed through these stages. But I think somebody wanted to use Presidency link to scale through all important aspects. I also understand through my investigation later that the Ogun State House of Assembly was unaware of the request.”
He added that, “When the request reached the Senate committee on Foreign Loans, and the committee reported to the whole house, Ogun and Kaduna States were missing. I confronted Senators Shehu Sanni, Jibrin Barau, Akanbi and the committee Chairman specifically on why Ogun State was missing.
“The committee Chairman told me Ebonyi State wanted to use the loan for ring road project, Katsina State for Health system project, Kano State for integrated agricultural and water resources development but Ogun and Kaduna states refused to mention what they wanted to use the external ($350m each) for. What is my fault in this?”
Adeola later added that, “It should, however, be noted that such a loan has to satisfy certain normal procedures in compliance with,
1. Fiscal responsibility Act
2. Procurement Act, and
3. Audit Act.
Whereas the loan request in question failed to comply with the principles in the stated Acts, they only said the loan will be used as a budget support.”
Culled from: The Premier News