Members of the Kwankwasiyya political movement have filed a lawsuit against Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje over his plans to seek a N300 billion loan from a Chinese bank to finance a rail line project in Kano state.
DAILY FOCUS had reported that the Kano state government had approved an external loan of €684,100,100.00 to continue with its rail project, which was initiated in November 2016.
According to a statement by Muhammad Garba, the loan was approved by the state executive council.
It may be recalled that Mr Ganduje had in November 2016 signed a $1.8 billion light rail contract with a Chinese firm.
But it is unclear whether the €684.1 million loan is an additional funding or part of the $1.8 billion dollars earmarked for the project.
However, in a statement on Monday, signed by Aminu Abdussalam, a top Kwankwassiya leader, said the the governor would enslave Kano people if he is allowed to take the loan.
Mr Abdussalam, said the loan constitutes over 15 years internally generated revenue of the state.
“It has come to our notice that, Kano State Government under the leadership of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is once again in the process of renewing its effort of contracting a loan facility to the tune of Six hundred and eighty four million One hundred thousand One hundred Euros (€684,100,100.00) from China Development Bank for financing of Light Rail Project in the State .
“The total adjusted loan facility is equivalent to N299,533,228,785.00 at the Central Bank of Nigeria official exchange rate and N339,313,649,600.00 at the current parallel market exchange rate of N469.00 to one Dollar,” he said.
Read the full statement below:
RE: KANO STATE GOVERNMENT REQUEST FOR SIX HUNDREDAND EIGHTY FOUR MILLION, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND,ONE HUNDRED EUROS (€684,100,100.00) LOAN FACILITY FROM CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK.
Gentlemen of the Press,
The proposed borrowing is also equivalent to about 15 years of the total internally generated revenue of the state and more than two years of its budgetary allocation. It is further disheartening and disappointing to note that with the current exchange rate regime, the rising poverty level and the devastating impact of Covid-19 Pandemic, Kano State Government has concluded plans to mortgage the future of the present and incoming generations, by committing them into a perpetual debt at the expense of their Education, Health and other social safety net investment. The repayment period for the proposed Loan could take up to 50 years or more.
Furthermore, this unfortunate development of an ill-conceived white elephant project is coming at a time of global economic crisis compounded by the Covid-19 Pandemic, making the repayment of bogus projects impossible. A State Government, which is unable to sustain the standard set by the administration it took over from, in areas of Education, Health, Poverty reduction and enhanced social cohesion has now resorted to ill-conceived white elephant projects. The proposed project is conceived without due cognizance of the technical and other financial requirement as encapsulated in the country’s procurement law. The state government has ignorantly contracted and agreed to sign agreement with the financiers of the project, even when they were advised by the technical experts to defer the said project bearing in mind the deficiency of other complementary inputs such as power and the apparent heavy attraction of compensation from structures likely to be demolished. It also does not have technical and financial appraisal as the loan is only intended to finance the rail track without taking care of the rolling stocks, dedicated power and provision of rail stations. This development has negated all the thought and perception of the good people of Kano State especially the Kwankwasiyya Movement.
Given all these, we are deeply disappointed that the APC Gandujiyya caucus of the State House of Assembly that is supposed to provide the necessary checks and balances and ensure that the interest of their constituents is promoted and protected has, without any regard to legislative procedures, given a blanket approval to the state governor to collect this loan and enslave the innocent people of the state. We are not surprise though, because most of the members of the assembly arrived the house through dubious means akin to the governor.
In view of the foregoing, therefore, our party the People Democratic Party (PDP) and our group the Kwankwasiyya Movement in Kano State have resolved to intimate the public on this unfortunate happenings in our State and to once again say that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Kano State totally disassociate itself from this ill-informed and ill-conceived plan of Kano State Government. It is to our dismay that the Government that is supposed to protect and promote the collective wishes and aspirations of its citizens has derailed and embark on reckless borrowing spree from both local and international financiers. Our philosophy only allow for borrowing when it is extremely necessary and on critical programs or projects. It is on record that we inherited the sum of 200 million USD as Loan for the purchase of mosquito nets under the roll back malaria program which was contracted between 2004 to 2010, but luckily for our state, we followed due process and exited from the loans component and subsequently our government further engaged in meaningful projects that at the long run eradicate the menace of malaria in the state.
Therefore, we want to put it on record that our organization (The Kwankwasiyya), our party the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), our future Governments and the good people of Kano State will not entertain and honor any loan facility and/or agreements entered for this purpose; as we will not allow our dear state, our children and the children yet unborn to be bonded in perpetual slavery. Furthermore, we wish to state categorically clear that any financiers local and/or international engaged in this unfortunate deal will be viewed as aiding the current state government efforts of enslaving the future of our people and therefore will not be honored.
Knowing full well that this same All Progress Congress (APC) – Gandujiyya Government under the Dr. Abdullahi UMAR Ganduje is neck-deep in a very weighty and messy allegation of corruption involving Millions of Dollars (USD) of which the governor himself is at the centre of the graft with numerous video clips going the round, we are certain that if this loan is obtained, it will be swallowed into the bottomless blackhole of the governor’s babbanriga.
Finally, while calling on all and sundry to join hands with like minds to stop these unfortunate efforts of the current Kano state government of subjugating our state to poverty, we wish to inform the good people of State that the National Kwankwasiyya Movement, Kano State chapter has already taken the following steps:
i. The Chinese Development Bank has been contacted via a petition in respect of the illegality and crass procedural violations by the state government (both the executive and the legislature);
ii. The attention of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria has been drawn to the risks of the proposed transaction with Ganduje;
iii. The president of the Senate, the Hon. Minister of Finance and the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) were all written to, protesting against the proposed enslavement of the people of Kano State; and
iv. On our instructions, our lawyers have already instituted a case in court challenging both the legitimacy and the procedural violations associated with the proposed loan. Thank you very much and God bless our dear state and our country.
Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam
PDP Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate/Spokesperson Kwankwasiyya