Increasing borrowings worrisome – Ndume

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Senator Ali Ndume (APC Borno South), Thursday, said the increasing requests for loans by the executive arm of government and expeditious approval by the National Assembly, are worrisome.

Ndume who stated this while fielding questions from journalists covering the Senate , said though borrowing is not a crime but the thoroughness required for its approval, is often not followed by the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly.

This he added made Nigerians to be suspicious of the federal lawmakers and invariably tagged them as rubber stamp.

According to him, some of such requests hurriedly approved in the past , are even yet to be granted .

He stated further that in as much as loans or borrowings are required by government to address the problem of infrastructural deficits facing the country, such loans should be cautiously considered in the face of debt servicing getting to 80 or 90%.

He said : ” Borrowing is not a crime but when the rate of debt services increases which I understand is getting to 80% to 90%, you have to be cautious, you have to look for alternative.

“There are some loans that are not just absolutely necessary, there are some that can be delayed, there are 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 it 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 house of deliberation, when things like this come, we don’t just rush and approve it.

“Such requests are supposed 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.

“They call us rubber stamp because we don’t carry people along. We rushed to approve certain borrowings which up till now are not granted by targeted creditors.”

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