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Benue denies obtaining £25m loan from European Investment Bank

The Benue state government has denied reports of taking a £25 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

On Thursday, there were reports that Benue state secured a €25 million loan from the EIB to construct 500-kilometre roads across the state.

In a statement on Friday, Tersoo Kula, chief press secretary to Hyacinth Alia, the governor of Benue, said the current administration has not borrowed any money since assuming office on May 29, 2023.

Kula said the reports are untrue, misleading and a figment of the imagination of the authors or rumour mongers.

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He asked residents of Benue to disregard the claims that the state government obtained a loan.

“The European Investment Bank (EIB), which has been quoted to have granted the loan to the state government, is not a money lending agency,” the statement reads.

“The EIB only finances and supports long-term projects within the European nations and, in rare cases, outside the European Union.

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“The £25m quoted is not a loan, and the public, particularly, those misinforming the good people of the state must understand that, as the Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has brought back belief and trust in governance; rekindled the confidence of lovers of development, thereby attracting donor agencies and development partners to the state.

“His government has also been visibly active in the payment of counterpart funds where and when necessary.

“Therefore, it is not strange that Benue made the list of states pencilled to enjoy the £25m, together with other states such as Borno, Taraba, Anambra, Cross River and Edo.

“Moreover, every sane mind understands that before taking a loan of such magnitude, (be it soft or bond), the laws are clear that an approval of the legislative arm of government must be sought and gotten to that effect.”

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The chief press secretary said so far, Alia has not seen any need to borrow any money from anywhere.

He said if the need arises, every due process will be followed, and as one operating a very transparent government, “the people will be told why and how much is to be borrowed and for what purpose”.

“It is an undisputed fact that Gov. Alia has so far displayed prudent and fiscal management of resources,” the statement reads.

“This, the Benue people, are not in doubt. The £25m when disbursed by the EIB, will also be judiciously used for the purpose it is meant for.”

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