By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives were yesterday divided over the country’s quest for more borrowings.
While some said debt servicing on previous borrowings had become a serious burden on the country, others argued that the country had not reached its borrowing threshold.
The lawmakers, however, expressed worry over the poor revenue generation capacity of the country, even as they noted that oil subsidy should have long been removed.
They spoke while debating the general principle of the appropriation bill containing the N20,507,942,180,704 trillion budget proposal for 2023 fiscal year.
The allocation for education and the need to halt further industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, also featured in the debate.
In his remarks, the deputy minority leader, Toby Okechukwu, said the gap in the exchange rate should be closed.
“I think this budget is historical because this is the last time this session of the assembly will be compelled by duty and law to do its job and this is to pass the appropriation bill. Mr. speaker, colleagues, we want also to commend the president for bringing the budget. It has become a document of the House. It is quite important to state that the things the budget does not contain are critical.
”First and foremost, the benchmarks as established, will be N435 exchanging for the dollar. In the parallel market, it is N740. It’s a complete distortion of reality and we have operated that way, running two parallel markets regarding to the exchange rate of this country.
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