Senate
Nigeria Senate

By Henry Umoru

The Senate Wednesday gave  Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of government an ultimatum of  two-weeks to appear before its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to defend President Muhammadu Buhari’s  request  for the approval of 2016- 2018 External Borrowing to the tune of $30 billion to be spent by the Federal Government to execute key Infrastructural projects across the country.

According to the Senate, the  MDAs that are yet to appear before the Senator Clifford Ordia, PDP, Edo Central led Committee on Local and Foreign Debts include: The Federal Ministries of Education, Power, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Water Resources, Communication and Digital Economy, Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Agriculture.

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan gave the order following Resolution a point of order raised on the floor by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, PDP, Edo Central.

READ ALSO: Senate begins consideration of Buhari’s $29.9bn loan request

Coming under Order 43 of the Senate Rules, Ordia lamented  the failure of relevant Ministries and Agencies of government to appear before the Committee to defend the proposed allocation of monies for projects under their supervision and captured in President Buhari’s loan request.

Speaking further, President of the Senate urged the relevant MDAs to appear before the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to provide necessary information required by the Senate to reach a decision on President Buhari’s loan request before the National Assembly.

Lawan said: “Because you have come under order 43 on personal explanation, this is not open to debate.

“But let me advise that this Senate is committed to ensuring that such important issue like the foreign loan request of the executive needs to be taken with seriousness by both sides (the Executive and Legislature).

“The Senate is making every possible effort that we understand why the request, therefore, we need details, we need information so that we take the appropriate decision as quickly as possible.

“So, I will ask these agencies that have not appeared before the Committee to do so between now and Monday. So, I believe this is an advice that would be taken very seriously by these agencies.”

Chairman of Local and Foreign Debts Committee, Senator Ordia had pleaded for an extension of the window period to two weeks, a request which was approved by the Senate President.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, had on November 28, written  to the Senate, again requesting for the approval of 2016- 2018  External Borrowing to the tune of $30 billion  to be spent by the Federal Government to  execute key Infrastructural projects across the country.

The letter, which was dated November 26, 2019, was read on the floor of the Red Chamber by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary.

In the letter, President Buhari explained  that it became imperative to represent the request because the Eighth National Assembly approved only a part of the External Borrowing request forwarded to it in September 2016.

Vanguard

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