Written By Ijeoma Tagbo
The Executive Chairman, Society of Analytical Economics of Nigeria, Godwin Owoh has criticized the approach adopted by the Senate, rejecting the request for approval by President Muhammadu Buhari to get external loan.
He said on the popular “Today On STV” that the senate attitude appeared strange to the nation because there are rules for communication which is either formal or informal that will not amount to outright rejection of the bill.
"I believe what transpired was a rejection, the senate was requesting for formal input in the documentations and clarifications on the bill sent by the President. Though the Past President of the Federal Republic has always gotten approval from the Senate that has been the trend that could have justified an outright rejection" he said.
Owoh however expressed that the mover of the motion (Senate Leader), Ndume was asking for the request of the loan to be sent to the technical arm of the house for further review and scrutiny in line with their new framework in Section 88 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but the process was brought to an end at the senate".
The Senate wants the President to submit a complete frame of documents in line with their new code of conduct, though the process of balancing and resubmission is still ongoing.
He said that he did not see anything wrong with the Senate not approving the $30 billion naira deal requested by the president, adding, “The loan is very necessary because the cost of borrowing externally is cheaper than borrowing locally, and for the approval to get to that level preliminary conditions must have been taken.”
"The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun must have gotten to an appreciable level where a significant procedure externally has already been concluded, it is our duty as a nation not to send a wrong signal to the external creditors out of Nigeria.
The Senate want a framework and control system where every one naira value for that loan is procured and I have not seen any unusual reaction from the president" he said.
He advised that "the first step is to have a comprehensive plan to come out of this recession. We should be sure of a credible national balance sheet that we show us the nation’s value of assets, liabilities in term of custody and security and accurate measurement of the balance sheet, liabilities should be the line of take-off.
It will also help to take care of the Funding gap of the $30 billion borrowing which will span for three (3) years when we meet up to the conditions for disbursement'.
He urged the Senate to establish discipline and internal controls which will monitor the expenditure of the loan with the national code of corporate governance.
The Debt management office goes beyond the economic analysis of Nigeria going by the GDP ratio, they will provide highly productive infrastructure, social investment in health, top class productivity in education and increasing human capital.
The National Assembly will not allow any room for frivolous spending because of the new governance code that monitors how funds are been spent.