FEC Approves over $400m Loans for APC States
Written by Morenike Adebayo on February 26, 2015
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved over $400 million foreign loans for Lagos, Rivers, Osun and Ogun States for the implementation of infrastructure projects.
The council, however, said the loans meant for the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled states should not be seen as Greek gifts to sway votes.
The Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; Ministers of Aviation, Osita Chidoka; Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe and Education Minister, Ibrahim Shakarau, jointly briefed State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting.
Yuguda noted that President Goodluck Jonathan would not diminish his office with tribal or political sentiments, saying the president was desirous of bringing development to all parts of Nigeria no matter who resides there or which political party runs the state.
Yuguda stressed that the president did not bar any minister from facilitating or assisting any state government in the processing of any development loans, which is why the latest credit facilities to these states were brought to FEC for deliberations and approval.
“Like we have been saying over and over again and Like the president is saying over and over again, there is a distinction between governance and politics and president does not bring issues where they are not supposed to be situated.
“Now if we are improving the lives of the people of Port Harcourt or Lagos, these are Nigerians. So President Jonathan is the President of Nigeria. He will not trivialise his office by neglecting one part of Nigeria because they don’t belong to PDP. That is not President Jonathan.
“That is not what president intends to do and it is not what he is going to do if re-elected come March 28. What we are trying to say is that some of the opposition had been talking differently about this kind of approach.
“I can remember two weeks ago, Governor of Oyo State was attacking the Minister of State of FCT,.
“There is no way Lagos State or Rivers state or any of these states can get this facility without the support of the federal government by the president and then through federal ministry of finance.
“You can request for this kind of facility but we give the guarantee and after giving the guarantee the money is not going to you. It comes to us the federal government for lending to you.
“The president has not in any way stopped the ministers from executing or facilitating assistance to any state that deserves it. That is to be on record. If that is the president that Nigeria has today, we would not have brought these issues to council. We can step it down. We can create issues but that is not what we are saying.
“What we are telling the opposition is take us up on issues, not propaganda, not false accusations. If you accuse us constructively as government, we have facts we have figures. We have everything to tell Nigerians that the president is performing, this goes to show that definitely he is detribalized. He is not after projects that go to the states, projects that go the PDP states.
“That is what I am here to confirm and that is what we have just gone through today. President Jonathan wants the welfare of all Nigerians anywhere you are. He is your president and we want all Nigerians to see him as that and reciprocate the kind gesture he has extended to all Nigerians,” Yuguda said.
On whether the government was not piling up debts for future generations, the minister replied: “Our debt ratio to service is two per cent. Our loans problem are from our domestic loans collected by states not international loans by the federal government. All the loans approved today are domestic loans, and note that all the projects the loans are to be used for are to generate revenues so they will pay back the loans.