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35 BILLION BOND: We Are Not Satisfied With Your Replies - ENetSuD To Kwara Assembly


The Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA) has replied to the request of the Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) concerning the Thirty-Five Billion Naira (₦35,000,000,000) Bond proposed by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led Kwara State Government. The KWHA also answered one of ENetSuD’s questions on the loan it approved in the 2021 budget (apart from the bond).

It will be recalled that ENetSuD wrote the Clerk of the KWHA on 2nd February, 2021 via a letter ENetSuD/KWSG/01/31 to request some information on the bond, which was approved by Rt. Hon. Danladi-led 9th KWHA. The Clerk responded via a letter KWHA/GS/49/T/51 signed by Suleiman M. Jaiyeola and dated 12th February 2021 but submitted to ENetSuD's secretariat on 19th February, 2021.

In her reply, she stated that the exact amount requested by the Governor was ₦35 Billion only, and the same amount (₦35 Billion) was approved for him by the KWHA. She also added that a sum of Six Billion Naira (₦6,000,000,000) only was approved for the KWSG in the 2021 budget to be obtained from financial institutions to fund key capital projects.

However, the clerk was unable to provide all other critical information requested by ENetSuD. Rather than providing details, she referred ENetSuD to obtain them from the Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance and Planning. The pieces of information that the clerk did not provide include:
 
I. The detailed budget of the projects that the bond is proposed for (including the name of each project, the amount budgeted for each project, the contract sum of each project, the location of each project, and the executing Ministry, Department, and Agency of each project);

II. The project codes, names of projects, and other information on the projects that the bond will be used for as contained in the approved 2021 budget;

III. The proposed payment plan for the bond;

IV. The detailed information on the projects that the loan will be used to execute (including the name of each project, the amount budgeted for each project, the contract sum of each project, the location of each project, and the executing Ministry, Department, and Agency of each project);

V. The project codes, names of projects, and other information on the projects that the loan will be used for as contained in the approved 2021 budget;

VI. The debt profile of the KWSG as 2nd February, 2021.

Reacting to the response from the KWHA, the ENetSuD’s Director of Legal Services (Lukman Raji Esq.) welcomed and appreciated the Clerk’s reply. “It is a good development that the 9th KWHA is replying ENetSuD’s correspondence since its inauguration. We welcome this development and hope that the 9th KWHA will sustain this courtesy”. 

ENetSuD is however not satisfied with the reply of the KWHA. “Being the House of the people of Kwara State, KWHA is the appropriate arm of government to provide explanations to citizens on decisions taken on our behalf, especially on legislation and financial matters (under its approval) that affect us as citizens. As a legislative arm of government vested with the power of approval of the bond before the executive can access it, all the pieces of information requested above are expected to be available with the KWHA. We expected that the KWHA must have carefully vetted all these pieces of the necessary information and certified them as satisfactory before it approved the bond.

Notwithstanding the lack of detailed information from the clerk, ENetSuD has resolved to approach the Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance for further information on the bond as advised by the Clerk.

Signed,
Usman Radhiyyat Taiye (Mrs),
Deputy Coordinator (Administration),
Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD)
19th February, 2021

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