Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, on Monday said the recent trip of the Forum to Islamic Republic of Saudi Arabia to seek loan facilities from the Islamic Development Bank was facilitated by the Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance.
Kashim Shettima, who is the governor of Borno State, in statement by his spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, said the remarks on the trip credited to the Vice Chairman, Senate committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts, Senator Shehu Sani describing the action of the northern governors as unlawful was unfortunate and out of “ignorance.”
The statement read that the Senator’s remark that : “Efforts by the Forum to “obtain loans” from the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, in Jedda was an illegality, was purely based on lack of the slightest knowledge about the issue because unlike what the very respectable Senator thinks, the IDB trip itself was not just done with the consent and approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance but rather, it was even the Federal Ministry of Finance that facilitated the trip and they had a representative as part of the delegation.”
The statement further read: “Governors of the northern states cannot just jet out to Saudi Arabia to solicit or collect loans without following the due process of the law and the law further states that state governments and their agencies wishing to obtain external loans shall obtain federal government’s approval in principle from the Federal Ministry of Finance.”
It stated that: “The Senator would perhaps have avoided an unnecessary friction with the forum if he had sorted information from the Federal Ministry of Finance or the forum.”
It added that: “The Northern States Governors’ Forum has the highest regard for the institution of the Senate and its 109 Senators. It is therefore, not the intention of the forum to join issues with one of its very own, the scholarly Comrade, Senator Shehu Sani, vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts. The Senator’s remarks published by numerous media show that he is concerned about what the Governors are doing and this is a positive development.
“However, if only distinguished Senator Shehu Sani had made some patient attempt to source information from the Federal Ministry of Finance or the Northern Governors’ Forum concerning that very strategic trip to the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, in Jedda as led by the forum’s chairman, Governor Kashim Shettima and his colleagues, Governors of Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa and Nasarawa states two weeks ago; he would have been sufficiently informed and would probably have no need to criticize that trip which should have avoided exchange between Governors of the 19 Northern States and a respectable Senator from the north.”
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