The payment was approved two days to the state’s governorship election which holds on Saturday, November 16, 2019.
KanyiDaily recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had in October sent a letter to the Senate, seeking approval for the payment of N10 billion to settle local debts incurred by Governor Yahaya Bello-administration.
The approval on Wednesday was, however, opposed by some lawmakers who attempted to stop the process. The senators questioned the timing of the approval of the loan.
Speaking on behalf of the opposition lawmakers, Minority Leader Senator Enyinaya Abaribe said the approval should be delayed by one week so that the money would not be misused during election.
“What I don’t want is the misuse of these funds because it is for the people of Kogi State. This is not the right time, this is the time where the exigencies of the moment may be used.
“There is no harm in approving this money. Let the approval be delayed by just a week,” he said.
However, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan disagreed and approved the money, saying that the state applied for the refund along with other states that had gotten their own in the past..
“Kogi State applied for this in the last senate, all the other states were paid. Kogi was not approved at that time. We as a senate have seen it as a necessity and it is a coincidence,” Lawan was quoted as saying.
The forthcoming governorship election in Kogi is expected to be a tough contest between incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).