By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA — THE House of Representatives, yesterday, directed its Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management to liaise with the Budget Office of the federation to ascertain the amount of local debt owed by the Federal Government.
This development was based on the adoption of a motion brought to the floor of the House by Emmanuel Oker-Jev, APC, Benue, entitled: Urgent need to carry out verification of local debts owed by the Federal Government before payment.
While moving the motion, Oker-Jev noted that there was much uncertainty surrounding the amount of local debts owed by the Federal Government to local contractors.
He said: “While some put the figure at about N2.2 trillion, others put it at over N10.61 trillion. With the clamour for the reflation of the economy, the Federal Government would soon start settling those local debts when the budget is passed.
“Considering the shenanigans of Nigeria’s bureaucracy, the estimated amount allegedly being owed to local contractors may not be real as the actual debt may have been over estimated and it will amount to a major disservice to the nation for trillions of naira to be paid without verification.”
He told the House that if an investigation was carried out before payments were made, trillions of naira would be saved for the national treasury.
The motion was adopted by the House via a voice vote after the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, put it to question.