A member House of Representatives Committee on Loans, Aids and Debt Management, Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad, says federal lawmakers have approved the $800 million loan request of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The lawmaker however argued that the loan would not be utilised by the Buhari administration, saying the incoming government would deploy its own approach to utilise the loan.
“The $800 million — there were so many talks that we did, especially we in the loan committee and we advised them: ‘First, leave this thing to the incoming government,’” Ahmad who was a guest on Channels Television today said.
“But since the loan has been granted, we can collect. If we cannot use it, maybe when the incoming government comes, they may have a different approach to issues, maybe unlike this government that is there.
“Thank God, I won’t say it clearly but it was on social media that probably they intended not to use any of Buhari’s ministers because they have already taken them to have underperformed.
“So, the issue is, we have granted that loan, it is approved, so we want Nigerians to take it but it is not going to be utilised by this outgoing government. Now, if the incoming government comes, we will see also their own template.”
Buhari had earlier sent a letter to the Senate seeking approval to take a loan to the tune of $800 million from the World Bank to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.
This follows the federal government’s April announcement of an $800 million World Bank grant targeting 50 million vulnerable Nigerians or 10 million households, as part of its subsidy palliatives measures.
However, the request was met with rejection in some quarters, especially among the civil society organisations.
In a statement earlier in the week, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) lamented what it described as the nonchalant attitude displayed by the Buhari administration towards the country’s crippling debt crisis.
Also, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the World Bank President Mr David Malpass to use his “good offices to suspend any disbursement of the $800m loan to the Federal Government and to request the incoming administration to provide satisfactory explanations for the loan.”
SERAP urged Mr Malpass and the World Bank “to reopen discussion on the reportedly approved $800m loan with the incoming administration to clarify the details on the rationale and use of the loan because the term of office of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari ends in May 2023.”