Kano State Government has reacted to the concern raised by Kano elders under the Kano Unity Forum (KUF) headed by the former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) Alhaji Bashir Tofa, on plans to secure N300 billion loan from China for the construction of light rail in the state.
“The exact amount being borrowed is shrouded in secrecy: Is it 684 million euros equivalent to over N300 billion alluded by Vanguard 27/7/2020 or N828 billion imputed by a Kano political opposition movement? The nature of the loan portfolio is equally suspicious: Is The loan to be repaid directly by KNSG or are the Chinese constructing the project on Built, Operate and Transfer basis?” the forum had queried, in the letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari.
But Salisu Tanko Yakasai, Special Adviser to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on media, in a statement on Friday, said the loan will be repaid through revenue generated from the train service, advertisement and the state internally generated revenue (IGR).
“Governor Abdullahi Ganduje personally went to president Muhammadu Buhari to present the project and seek permission which was granted. It was taken to the National Assembly’s committee on loan procurement and the Federal Ministry of Finance,” said Yakasai.
“All the processes have been accomplished in the last three years not that it is just beginning. Maybe the elders have not done their homework. This is not something that was started two or three months ago it is a process that started about three years ago. It was not something done haphazardly.
“The terms of this loan has been stated since day one, the moratorium period before the repayment of the loan commences, the period of time for the payment, the sources of revenue from which the state will repay the loan which includes revenue from the train, advertisements on the train and some amount from the IGR of the state.
“It is important for elders to study the document. If they want the government can make it available for them. It is not a hidden arrangement that one would claim ignorance on the facts of the agreement.
“Everything is concluded, it is now the first part of the project that will commence. The total cost of the project is $2 billion. They will start by releasing the amount that will be enough for the first line of the project which is from Dawanau to Bata. There are going to be about four lines for which the $2 billion will be used. But the state government is going to start with the first part of the project which is from Dawanau to Bata. The completion period for this is about three years after which if its start repaying the loan then the second phase will commence and then the third and the forth.”
The Kano Governor’s media aide added that there is no money coming to the state government or the Governor but from the bank funding the project to the contractors executing it.
“This money is not coming to Governor Ganduje. It is not going to be given to any individual,” he said.
“It is going from the Chinese bank funding it to the Chinese contractor in charge of the contract. The money is not going to come to the Kano state account. This is part of the agreement.
“No one should assume that the money is going to be collected for something else