By G9ija

The Katsina State Government has concluded plans on an N68.5 billion credit to finance its 2021 budget.

Governor Aminu Masari had, on Wednesday, presented an N282.8 billion proposal to the House of Assembly for consideration.

Addressing reporters on the fiscal document yesterday, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Farouk Jobe, said the state would raise N50 billion in Sukuk bonds, and another N18.5 billion from foreign sources.

He said the current administration shunned commercial banks owing to the high interest the facility might attract.

Jobe noted that part of the loans would go for completion of major infrastructure abandoned due to paucity of funds.

His words: “Some of these projects include the expansion and rehabilitation of 22 general hospitals across the state, out of which eight have been completed.x

“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.

“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 allayed fears that the government had borrowed too much over the years to affect the future of the state.

According to him, earlier facilities had either been repaid or at the verge of being liquidated.

He clarified: “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.”