The Senate on Wednesday, November 18, considered and approved a loan of 200million dollars for Lagos State Development Policy Operation II (DPO II) loan requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Following the recommendation of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt that the state had met the requirements for the loan, the senate approved the loan for Lagos.
While presenting the report,Kabiru Gaya representing (Kano South), the Chairman of the committee said the reason for the loan was to support benefiting states to build infrastructure in which the loan is released in tranches to ensure accountability
Some of the projects to be funded are;27KM Light Rail along Lagos-Badagry Expressway Corridor to Marina with World class rail stations and dualisation of Lagos-Badagry Roads with toll plazas and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Cable Bridge.
Other are the Cardiac and Renal Centers in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and network of roads in Apapa .
However, other senators who contributed to the report expressed worry at the rate of borrowing money as they feared that Nigeria may return to her days of indebtedness if not checked.
George Sekibo representing Rivers East senatorial district said that it is important for the loan to be followed up and urged the senate to go a step further after approving loans to oversight the utilisation.
Danjuma Goje (Gombe central) while seconding the motion for the loan to be approved stated that there should be proper monitoring and evaluation on how the loan is spent and how they will be relayed.
He added that all the governor's will not mind loans like this if given the opportunity but Nigerians should not go back to the habit of indebtedness.
"How do we pay back all these loans and when do we pay back.
"I will advise that governors should take loans that they can pay back within their tenure so that governors do not just plunge their states into indebtedness and go after their tenure,” he said.
However,Bukola Saraki, the Senate president while commending his colleagues on their efforts in the report emphasized the importance of such developmental loans.
Saraki who reiterated that the days of indebtedness are over, said that the Senate will only approve such loans for states that have the capability of paying back.
"It is our responsibility that we do our work in our respective committees so we can do the proper oversight that is required.
"Loans must be considered on case by case basis loans for infrastructural development should be commended and approved provided the loans are used effectively for infrastructure," he said.
Legit.ng reports that in 2010, the first tranche of the loan was approved while the second was in 2012 to 2014 borrowing plan although Lagos State and Edo state are the only states in Nigeria and only beneficiaries in Africa of the Development Policy Operation loan.
The loan is for a duration of 25 years with a five year grace period at an interest rate of 1.5 per cent and service charge of 0.75 per cent.
Meanwhile three bills were presented for first reading on the floor of the Senate.
The bills include the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology Act CAP N116 LFN 2004 (repeal and 're-enactment) bill, 2015, National Agricultural Land Development Authority Act CAP N4 LFN 2004 (amendment) bill 2015 and Nigeria Institute of Management Act No. 14 2003 (amendment) bill, 2015.