- Senator Ali Ndume has expressed concern over the federal government’s borrowing amid the harsh economic realities facing the nation
- Ndume is unhappy with the swift response of the National Assembly on the request of external loans by President Buhari
- Meanwhile, the Nigeria debt profile is on the rise as another fresh loan request was presented to the Senate by the president recently
FCT, Abuja - The chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, says he is worried about how the Nigerian parliament is handling the issue of debt and borrowing by the federal government.
Channels TV reports that Ndume made this statement on Thursday, September 16, expressing a strong reservation about the National Assembly’s handling of the request for external loans by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate had in July approved the federal government’s 2018-2020 external borrowing rolling plan of $8.3 billion and 490 million euros.
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“Borrowing is not a crime but when the rate of debt services increases which I understand is getting to 80 per cent to 90 per cent, you have to be cautious.
“What I am worried about again is the way the Senate is handling it. The Senate by definition is the house of deliberations when things like this come, we don’t just rush and say because you are to be seen to be good you just rush and approve it."
Recall that the president had on Tuesday, september 14, in a letter, sought the approval of the Senate to borrow another $4 billion (4,054,476,863) and €710 million loan from bilateral and multilateral organisations to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget, a report by Premium Times also indicates.
While Buhari said the loan request is an addendum to the 2018-2020 borrowing plan, he also asked the lawmakers to approve grant components of $125 million.
What I told Buhari about borrowings, Lawan opens up after meeting president in Aso Villa
Earlier, Ahmad Lawan, president of the Senate, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to reduce the external borrowings being incurred to fund the country’s annual budgets.
It was reported that the principal lawmaker advised the president to, instead, focus on blocking financial leakages and avoiding wastage in all tiers of government.
Legit.ng gathered that Lawan said this on Monday, August 23, in Abuja, after a closed-door meeting with President Buhari at the State House.
President Buhari borrows over N10billion daily in last six years
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that each Nigerian is a debtor, owing over N160,000 due to the amount of loan borrowed by President Muhammadu Buhari since he came into power after the Presidential election in 2015.
President Buhari has lent N21 trillion since July 2015, increasing Nigeria's debt to N33.1 trillion as of March 2021, according to data from the Debt Management Office (DMO).
A breakdown of the debt linked to President Buhari's administration showed that on a daily basis, the country secures over N10 billion within the last six years.