Plateau denies accessing $2b loan

Gyang Bere, Jos

Plateau State Government has denied the procurement of a loan facility to the tune of $2 billion dollars.

Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yakubu Dati, in a statement on Tuesday, in Jos, said the state government has been able to reduce the debt profile of N220 billion inherited from Governor Jonah David Jang administration to N122 billion.

Dati, who was reacting to the recent allegations by the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung, who said the state was reveling in profligacy, explained that “Out of the Plateau State debt profile of N220 billion, which was inherited, it has settled N122 billion.”

“The records are available at the Debt Management Office for confirmation. The bandied figure of N1 trillion is tales by moonlight.

“On the matter of the loan, it is still being processed and not released. This can easily be confirmed on the bank’s website as attached. The amount secured by the Federal Ministry of Finance is 11 million dollars and not 2 billion dollars being bandied. The facility was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of Wednesday July 26, 2017.

“The loan was secured from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the development of the Irish potato value chain, and the project is expected to create 60,000 jobs.”

Dati also said that the Plateau State Government would be providing N599 million as counterpart funding for the project, explaining that the loan has a five years moratorium and whatever remained of the loan would be paid at the rate of 1% in 20 years.

He said the loan would be used to develop the Irish potatoes value chain in 17 local government areas of the state.

“The implementation would be jointly executed by FADAMA project and a unit in the state Ministry of Agricuture. About 70 percent of the loan would be used for the provision of infrastructure, extension services, improved planting and marketing.

“The whole exercise is aimed at boosting production and minimising wastages in Plateau State which is the largest producer of Irish potatoes. The rescue administration remains focused on delivering on its mandate.”

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Author: Segun Adio