The Katsina State Government has concluded plans to borrow N68.5 billion to finance its 2021 budget.
Governor Aminu Masari had, on Wednesday, presented an N282.8 billion proposal to the House of Assembly and the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Farouk Jobe has said the state would raise N50 billion in Sukuk bonds, and another N18.5 billion from foreign sources.
According to him, the current administration avoided commercial banks owing to the high interest the facility might attract.
Jobe added that part of the loans would go for completion of major project abandoned due to paucity of funds.
Jobe noted that, “Some of these projects include the expansion and rehabilitation of 22 general hospitals across the state, out of which eight have been completed.”
“We also hope to upgrade three others to general hospital status and construct key major road projects in the urban and rural areas of the state,” he added.
According to the commissioner, “In addition, we plan to build more primary and secondary schools and have a school of nursing in Daura, as well as a school of midwifery in Mani council area.”
The commissioner fears that the government had borrowed too much over the years to affect the future of the state.
He noted that,“The state government borrowed N5 billion during its first tenure to complete three road projects initiated by the previous administration.
“These projects have since been completed, with the loan paid to the financing commercial bank.
“Katsina’s loan portfolio stands at six per cent, and 34 other states are ahead of us in borrowing. We are among two with least loan portfolios in the country,” Jobe said