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Reps suspend Buhari’s $22.79b loan consideration indefinitely

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THE House of Representatives has suspended deliberations on the $22.79billion external loan request by  President Muhammadu Buhari, shortly after it had been approved by the Upper legislative chamber.

The Senate had last week, approved the loan request despite protests from the opposition senators led by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who in his argument against the approval of the request, stated that “who goes aborrowing, goes asorrowing.”

It was gathered that the loan request which was set to be deliberated on by the House of Representatives members on Wednesday was stepped down.

Punch reports that the House was set to consider the request following its listing in the report by its Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the 2016–2018 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan on Wednesday’s proceeding but halted it.

According to the report, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had asked that the consideration be stood down, with no new date proposed for consideration.

“We will step that down for today,” Gbajabiamila said on the floor of the green chamber.

A member of the House, Henry Nwawuba, also against the consideration and approval of the external loan, presented a petition by a group of South-East elite at the plenary on Tuesday.

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Nwawuba was said to have submitted that there was a disconnect between the loan proposal and the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

It was gathered that some of the proposed projects to be funded with the loan are the Nigeria Electricity Transmission and Access Project ($364,000,000); Social Inclusion and Welfare Advancement project, renamed National Social Safety Net Project, ($500,000) and the Economic Reforms and Governance Project, renamed Fiscal Governance Project ($200,000,000).

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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