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The Niger State Government has obtained N675 million loan from a commercial bank to fund the state’s House of Assembly community social service projects across the 27 constituencies in the state.

Commissioner for Finance in the state, Mallam Zakari Abubakar, disclosed this, in Minna, on Monday, after the weekly Executive Council Meeting.

The commissioner pointed out that though the money was yet to be disbursed, all the modalities had worked out for its quick disbursement.

He, however, dismissed insinuations that the arrangement was meant to woo the legislators after they rejected the governor’s request for approval of the Assembly to secure a N21.5 billion Sukuk Bond.

According to the commissioner, “No, it is not a response to Sukuk. We received the request long ago and the government just secured the loan from the commercial Bank after much negotiations”.

He said that the decision of the state government to approach a commercial bank for the loan was borne out of the realisation that the government could not fund it from its regular income.

“We realised we cannot fund it from our regular income so we have to go borrowing from a commercial”.

Meanwhile, the state government has began the sale of all abandoned projects by the past administration in the state.

Three landmark projects which construction were started by the administration of former Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu have been put on sale by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Niger State.

Prominent among the project is the Niger State Development Company shopping malls located at the heart of Minna, the state capital, which had already been sold.

The two others, the Minna City Centre Towers and the Minna Shopping Complex have both been advertised for sale by the state government.

The NSDC shopping, mall located on 4.300 square meters of land which work had reached 80 percent completion was sold for N110 million, about N310 million less than the amount already expended on the project.

Commissioner for Investment and Commerce, Alhaji Mundi Mohamed said, in Minna, on Monday, while briefing newsmen that three estate valuers were invited to value the property, adding that two of the valuers estimated the cost of the property at N294 million and N310 million, respectively, while JAIZ Bank valued the building at N150 million

Mundi, however, said the state executive council approved the sales of the NSDC mall to JAIZ bank at N110 million on the condition that the bank would immediately relocate to the building, improve its landscape and also ensure that 80 percent of its workforce were indigenes of Niger State.

Mundi explained that the two other property were put on sale because “They are white elephant projects.”

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