The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said due diligence will be followed to approve loan requests of the executive arm of government.
He stated this yesterday while speaking with State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Lawan emphasised that the National Assembly will not just approve loan requests from the executive adding that the legislature will always get detailed information before any loan approval.
According to him, “What I want to assure Nigerians is that we are not going to be frivolously supporting or approving loans for the executive arm of government. Whenever we have to approve any loan, we have to insist on the details of what projects will be funded by those loans.
“We’ll have to look at the conditions that are attached to the loans, they must be favourable conditions before we approve and we will be up to date with our oversight to ensure that what we have approved is directly deployed and on those projects that we have also approved for implementation. So, we will not be frivolous and will not take it lightly to just approve any loan.”
He further expressed his support for government sourcing for a loan to execute projects saying the revenues are not readily available and Nigerians cannot be further taxed.
He said: “Our options are very limited as a country. First, we don’t have the necessary revenues, Nigeria is poor, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves. Nigeria is not rich, given the circumstances we live in, given the challenges we have; our resources are so low, our revenues are so low, and, therefore, the option of not doing anything, just to sit because we have no money, we shouldn’t go for infrastructural development is not even an option worthy of consideration. You cannot keep the economy stagnant.
“Two, you cannot, in my view and judgement, tax Nigerians further for you to raise the money for infrastructure development. Other countries do that, but we have serious situation across the country, so you cannot put taxes on people.”