Senate President Ahmad Lawan has revealed that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would approve the $29.96billion loan request of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Lawan, the loan will be approved because it is need by the Federal Government to build critical infrastructure in the nation.
The request for the almost $30billion loan was rejected by the 8th Assembly under the leadership of ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki.
President Buhari is seeking to take the loan despite warnings by financial experts including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Nigeria currently services her huge N25.7trillion debt with a large part of its budget. Yet, the Buhari is insisting on borrowing more.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had noted that Nigeria does not have debt problem, according to her, the country only has revenue generation problem.
Senate President Lawan who is committed to making sure President Buhari gets all he wants (as he once revealed that all request from the president is for the good of the country), noted that the Senate would approve it but will however ensure its judicious utilisation.
“The question of whether we will pass the loan request of the executive arm of government, yes, we will pass it. If we don’t have money and you have projects to build them, how will you provide infrastructure that you need?,” he said while responding to journalists in Abuja.
“But one thing is that, we are going to be critical that every cent that is borrowed is tied to a project.
“These are projects that will have spillover effects on the economy and we will undertake our oversight so well to ensure that such funds are properly, prudently, economically and transparently applied on those projects.”
According to Mr. Lawan, the reason why the 8th Assembly Senate headed by Saraki rejected the loan request was because it lacked sufficient details for its approval.
“In 2016, the Senate did not pass the loan request of the executive at that time and the reason was because there were no sufficient details.
“I want to inform this gathering and indeed Nigerians that the letter conveying the loan request of the executive came with every possible detail and in fact we will ensure that we are getting the right information from the executive arm of government. So, the situation is not the same.
“In 2016, there was no submission of details. This time, I think the executive has learnt its lesson and the letter came with sufficient details.
“Nothing will really militate against the passage (of the bill) but we are going to be critical so that every borrowed amount is tied to a project.
“These are projects that will have spillover effects on the economy and we will undertake our oversight to ensure such money is effectively, efficiently prudently applied on those projects.”
Speaking on the hate speech bill, Lawan noted that the Senate would reject it if Nigerians decides so.
“From early next year, our committee on the review of the constitution will start his job of constitution amendment.
“We have been very busy with the budget and so many other issues that we felt we should clear this one, and as soon as we come back, the committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution should start this job. We are going to do everything that will make governance better.”
He noted that some of the bills that will be accorded priority when we return from the Christmas and New Year break in January are the Petroleum Industry Bill, Electoral Reforms Amendment Bills and Amendment to the 1999 Constitution.”
David Chima is the Group Head (Editors) at Naija Buzz News. He is a very experienced Journalist. He studied Mass Communication at the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic Zaria, Kaduna State, before proceeding for Advanced Studies in Mass Communication (Journalism) at the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Bauchi State. He previously served as the Head Senior Reporters and Publishers at 1Push.Ng and eventually Naija Buzz News. Chima is a lover of football and a very strong supporter of Barcelona Football Club Spain.