Senators disagree over rising debt profile

Senators disagree over rising debt profile

- Nigerian senators disagree over the nation's growing debt profile

- Senator Melaye claimed the debt has risen from $20 billion during Goodluck Jonathan's era to $60 billion during the Buhari-led administration

- Most senators urged the federal government to be careful with the rising debt

There was a rowdy session at the Senate on Wednesday, March 13, as senators argued over the rising nation's debt which according to Senator Dino Melaye is currently at $60 billion.

The debate started after Senate leader Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North) spoke on the budget estimates for passage for second reading.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu west), who spoke after Lawan said: “Yes, money must be sought by any government to fund infrastructure, but it must not be solely anchored on borrowing which, in the long run, will take the country back to a problem it had earlier solved. Besides, there are other creative ways of funding such highly needed infrastructure.

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"Borrowing is becoming increasingly unsustainable and we must be able to caution ourselves before we mortgage the future of our children. Some countries, including Indonesia, are already in danger because of the borrowing they had in the past. For every money you borrow, there must be a day for payment."

Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West), who spoke after Ekweremadu said the nation's debt has risen to $60 billion from the $20 billion it was during the Goodluck Jonathan's administration.

Melaye said: “Nigeria is gradually turning to a chartered borrowing nation under this government all in the name of funding infrastructure. This must be stopped because the future of the country, and in particular, lives of generations yet unborn are being put in danger.

“Inflation is on the rise, unemployment rate is increasing, assumptions made for the budget estimates as regards $60 oil price benchmark and 2.3million barrel oil production level per day are unrealisable and unrealistic."

Shehu Sani (PRP, Kaduna Central) and Albert Akpan Bassey (PDP Akwa Ibom North East ) also agreed with Melaye that the federal government should be careful of the rising debt.

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However, Gbenga Ashafa (APC Lagos East), Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi Central), Jibrin Barau (APC Kano North) and deputy Senate leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah ( APC Kebbi South) disagreed with this submission.

The APC senators said the debt profile was not as outrageous as being portrayed.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the House of Representatives commenced investigation into Nigeria’s alarming debt profile sequel to the adoption of a motion by lawmaker, Yusuf Tajudeen, who raised concern over the issue.

Tajudeen noted that the alarming rise of Nigeria’s debt profile has led to growing economic instability, stifled growth and stunted development which is impacting negatively on various sectors of the economy.

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Source: Legit.ng News

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