Ahmad Lawan, president of the senate, on Monday, confirmed that the red chamber would approve the $29.96bn loan request of President Muhammadu Buhari.
His position has therefore laid to rest, arguments by some Nigerians that the loan request would be rejected just like the 8th Senate did in 2016 when it was first submitted to the red chamber for approval.
Lawan, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, however, assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would ensure judicious utilisation of the money.
The Senate President, who was responding to a question on whether the Senate would approve the loan or reject it like what happened three years ago, confirmed in the affirmative.
He said, “The question of whether we will pass (approve) 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 the infrastructure that you need?
“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 are applied on those projects.”
Explaining why the request was rejected in 2016 by the senate, Lawan said, “In 2016, the Senate did not pass the loan request of the Executive at that time and the reason was that 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 were 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 spill over effects on the economy and we will undertake our oversight to ensure such money is effectively efficiently prudently applied on those projects.”
Frontpage October 17, 2017