Senator Ali Ndume, yesterday, raised the alarm over the increasing requests for loans by President Muhammadu Buhari and the expeditious approval by the National Assembly.
The lawmaker who stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja said though borrowing was not a crime, the thoroughness required for its approval was often not followed by the Senate and by extension the National Assembly.
He said some of such loan requests hurriedly approved in the past were yet to the granted even as the expressed the concern with public perception of the National Assembly as rubber stamp given the way the loan requests are speedily granted.
He said as much as loans or borrowings are required by government to address infrastructural deficits facing the country, such loans should be cautiously considered in the face of debt servicing getting to 80 or 90 per cent.
Said Ndume: “Borrowing is not a crime but when the rate of debt services increases which I understand is getting to 80 to 90 per cent, you have to be cautious; you have to look for alternatives. The are some loans that are not just absolutely necessary, there are some that can be delayed, some that can be negotiated or renegotiated in terms of conditions attached to them. I think this is what the media should analyse and see whether it is necessary.
“We have infrastructural deficit in this country, and all we hear is that when people come to Abuja and allocation is made, you don’t see anything happening. For me, it is better to borrow that money and do the road, instead of giving it out for people to collect and go and spend it without accountability.
“What I am worried about again is the way the Senate is handling it. The Senate by definition is a house of deliberation; when things like this come we don’t just rush and approve it. Such requests are suppose to be looked at critically by crossing the Ts and dotting the Is, ask questions, carry the people you are representing along and not sit down here in the National Assembly carrying out expeditious approvals which make the people we represent look at us with suspicions.”