Why we approved Buhari’s $5.5 billion loan request — Reps

The House of Representative in Chamber ... members are notorious for budget mutilation
The House of Representative in Chamber ... members are notorious for budget mutilation

The House of Representatives on Thursday said it approved the $5.5 billion loan request from the executive because President Muhammadu Buhari is trustworthy and keeps to his words.

It said that the approval was in spite of the nation’s rising debt profile.

NAN recalls that both chambers had on Tuesday approved the president’s request to borrow $5.5 billion made up of $2.5 billion to fund the 2017 budget and another $3 billion to re-finance the country’s domestic debts.

Abdulrazak Namdas, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, told journalists that “we approved the loan because we believe that the President is a man of his words and will utilize the funds for the projects earmarked”.

He said that the House after studying the projects outlined to be executed with the proceeds of loan realised that they were essential for rapid economic development.

Mr. Namdas added that the House also realised that the loan proceeds would enhance social development of the country and considering the president’s integrity, they had no option than to approve the loan.

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“If you have a person that sticks to his words and with President Muhammadu Buhari, we have no doubt that this loan will be put to good use.”

He also explained that the nation was just recovering from recession and there was need to inject more money into the economy to rejig it adding that the terms and conditions of the loan were favourable and not injurious to the nation.

“We just came out of recession and we need to spend money on infrastructure. Borrowing is part of ways to rejig the economy but it is not good to borrow for frivolous items. However, when you borrow to invest, there is nothing wrong about it.”

Mr. Namdas assured that the House will also step up its oversight function to ensure that the loan was judiciously expended on the projects outlined.

“We don’t just approve the loan, we are going to do oversight and ensure that the loan is properly utilised.”

Some of the projects to be funded with the loan are the Mambilla Hydropower project, construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, counterpart funding for rail projects and the construction of the Bode-Bonny Road, with a bridge across the Opobo Channel.

(NAN)

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