A member of the House of Representatives Committee on Loans, Aid and Debt Management, Dr Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad has said in spite of the approval given to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to take an $800 million loan, the lawmakers would not allow the outgoing government to spend the money. He said the House had given the caveat to the president in approving the loan.
Speaking on a breakfast television show in Channels Television monitored in Abuja, Ahmad said the lawmakers have a means of ensuring that the Buhari administration adheres to the conditions it attached to the loan approval.
He said; “On the $800 million, we engaged in consultations and we advised them (FG) to leave this thing to the incoming government but since the loan has been granted, we can collect but we cannot use it, maybe when the next government comes in, they might have a different approach to issues.
“We have read in the social media that they intend not to retain any of Buhari’s ministers because they have rated them to underperform. Yes, we have granted that loan, it has been approved and we want Nigeria to take it, but it is not going to be utilized by this outgoing government. When the next government comes, they can decide on what to do with the loan”. On Nigeria’s debt profile, he described it as baffling, saying the House of Reps members had reasons not to approve the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means requested by President Buhari.
“Our debt profile is baffling. That is why we declined the N22.7 million Ways and Means even though the Senate has granted the request. Those of us in the House of Representatives raised a lot of questions and the request has not yet been attended to. There are things I can’t say because I don’t want to open the can of worms but I hope people understand this language of ways and means. In a nutshell, it means printing currency.
“First, Nigeria’s high debt profile, Nigeria has the capacity to pay. It is the intention of the APC government under Buhari, the infrastructure they put, the railway they built, if utilized properly, within one or two years, they would have generated the money to pay back the loans. Our problem is lack of patriotism. When the government comes up with an initiative, along the line, you have people who will engage in what I will refer to administrative stupidity to frustrate it. If Ajaokuta which remains three percent to complete and the railway would work effectively, I tell you that within 5 to 10 years, the situation of this country would change.