By Salisu Ibrahim
The history of Ninth National Assembly especially the Nation’s Upper Chamber House of Senate will remain unpleasant to the millions of Nigerians to some extent the way its succumbing in any request of debt brought to they notice by the president.
Both Two Houses of National Assembly leaders adopt “We Hear And We See” attitudes act makes them too compromising as people Representatives as this act have not anchor well for them.
Because they allowing future of the country mortgaging going by number of debt accrue by the PMB’s administration. Within the life span of the present administration from 2015 till date the nation’s National Assembly approved all the loan requested forwarded before them within eyes blinking.
According to the Debt Management office statement on Public Debt Data as at December 31, 2020 issued on Tuesday, 16 March 2021 13:21 on it website said Nigeria’s Total Public Debt as at December 31, 2020 was N32.915 Trillion. While total Public Debt to Gross Domestic Product as at same month was 21.61% which is within Nigeria’s new Limit of 40%.
Last year in April President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to approved request to secure a fresh loan of N850 billion to fund some projects in the 2020 budget from the domestic capital market to ensure adequate funds to finance projects in the budget. Also the National Assembly approved loan request of $1.5billion and €995million for the Buhari administration in this year.
Once again Nigerians were cough unaware with another efforts of PMB’s administration efforts to seek approval to take another $6.1 billion loan or N2.343 trillion from bilateral and multilateral organisations to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget. To be honest with reality taken new loan is uncalled for as the administration despite it has already revealed plans to sell some assets of the federal government to finance the 2021 budget.
Nigeria committing half of its foreign earnings to servicing its current level of indebtedness. Debt servicing had made it impossible to provide basic amenities and infrastructure without resorting to more borrowing. This led the country toward impending to bankruptcy.
No entity can survive while devoting 50% of its revenue to debt servicing. In spite of all this debt, the realities on ground did not show any correlation with previous loaned taken to breach the infrastructural deficit and there is need for the stopping this trend of loan spree by the administration require the national assembly to monitor the executive on prompt utilisation of new loans for the specified purposes.
The question that keep in the mind of millions concerns Nigerians what are the guarantees present administration, and the subsequent administration in the future will have the capacity to repay without making us and our unborn children likely to remind slaves and beggars in our own country by the creditor nations.
Need for the earlier starts looking for credible answers to these burning questions, the better for us all. What really surprising Nigerians is whether our lawmakers understanding the gravity of their actions in mortgage the future of the country more because contemplating an increase in Nigeria’s debt rate now is bad timing and inconsistent with current economic reality.
History will judges legislative arm for too compromising its responsibilities in checkmating this reckless loans spree by the government. History will remember them as those jeopardy Nigerians future. In the other peoples eyes as public servants they have lost self integrity of protecting electorates interest.
Granting approval of this government loans spree request by the chambers clearly demonstrated them as peoples representatives with gross insensitivity to citizens. History will remember them as public servants that renege one of their primary reasons of being in chamber which are supposed to protect but ending in mortgage the future of the country and the well being of the citizens.
However, the current concern who will pay these huge debts? the burden going to leave by the administration are too weighty for the weak economic like of Nigeria. one is surprised too about the speed with which both Chambers approve the request.
Ibrahim writes in from Kano and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org