According to the Katsina State Commissioner for Health, Mrs. Mariatu Bala Usman, people travel for about an hour before they can get access to health facilities in the state. She made this known in the course of an interactive meeting with the Senate Committee on Foreign Loans and Local Debts in Abuja, stressing that the situation contributed to the deaths of 180 children every month.
She also pointed out that the previous administrations did not do much across the state and this had caused the collapse of the health care system.
“We have 24 local governments in Katsina state and past administrations did not judiciously apply part of loans they borrowed in the health care sector”, she said.
The Katsina state Commissioner of Finance Alhaji Mukhtar Abdulkadir also notified the committee that a part of the World Bank loan of 110 million dollars which the state sought to borrow would be channeled to the development of the health sector.
Responding to the inquiries which were being made about the state’s debt profile, he revealed that the present government inherited a debt of 74 million dollars which was being owed to foreign agencies as well as N24 billion which was categorized as domestic debt.
“Our internally generated revenue stands at N510 million monthly, while we are able to pay debts of N316 million monthly; we have so far saved N6 billion from the last Paris Club loan”, the Commissioner noted.
In the same vein, Senator Shehu San has called on states in the north to look outside the box in promoting the growth of their internally generated revenues, noting that the improvement of revenues at the state level would lessen the possibilities of agitations.
“It is high time northern States woke up in increasing their IGR so that agitations being experienced in some States would be none existent if Internally Generated Revenues are improved upon and States depend less on allocations shared in Abuja monthly”, he said.
He also expressed concerns that some states in the country had acquired loans and were doing little or nothing to offset such loans.
“We need to sit up in terms of knowing that there is a cloud gathering in the sky, the agitations going on in some states should tell us that we need to brace ourselves to what is ahead.
“If we reach the point where IGR of some state gets to one billion, most of these issues will disappear; it is unhealthy for some states to depend on what comes from Abuja”, he added.
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