The House of Representatives is seeking means of funding the 2016 budget as well the borrowing plan of the federal government Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila has reported about the plans of the House of Representatives to consider and most likely to approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $29.9 billion (about N12 trillion) for capital projects in 2016-2019.
The news were made public during the event called “Changing Lives through Grassroot Support” in Lagos on Monday, October 31.
Mr. Gbajabiamila, who represents Surulere federal constituency 1 and also is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said: “Borrowing to finance infrastructural projects is not an irresponsible act, Lagos State did same and the concomitant development is obvious.
The House of Representatives will respond to Mr. President’s requests in the interest of Nigerians and quickly set the process in motion for its committees to carry out appropriate oversight functions on all project executing agencies until 2016 budget is fully implemented according to law.
Our interest in attracting federal presence to our constituencies is same as Mr. President’s resolve to keep his campaign promises so Nigerians can be assured that both arms of government will work harmoniously to bring the country out of economic recession soon.”
Explaining the necessity of loans Mr. Gbajabiamila said that it’s a common practice for governments all over the world to use borrowed money to drive their budgets. The lawmaker added: “You have budget deficits all over the world, even in the most advanced democracies.
You need that money especially in the times of recession, you have to borrow money to make money, so I don’t have a problem with the borrowing.
If you look at the borrowing also, it has a lot to do with the north-east, unless we want to play ostrich and lie to ourselves. If you’ve been to the north east, the devastation will take a lot of money to rebuild that place to what it was before.
As much as many people in the opposition do not want us to talk about the mismanagement of the past, there is a past before the present, so reference must be made to this.
Nigerians need to know depth of the rot we inherited to appreciate what the APC is doing to recover stolen funds and put the country on a path of recovery.
Even though the identified stolen funds and asset cannot be spent by government until all court cases are dispensed, the APC is continuing to work hard to stimulate the economy.”
More than 200 people received grinding machines, sewing machines, hairdressing equipment, generators, motorcycles, tricycles and other equipment to overcome the economic recession. Besides, 241 beneficiaries got N25,000 each.
Mr Gbajabiamila also hinted at more support to come: “To those who are not privileged to be part of this set of beneficiaries, be rest assured that your turn will come.”