As the outrage over the new $5.5billion loan request by President Buhari continues, Ahmed Lawan, the president of the Senate, has said that the request was approved by the Senate so as to save over 20 million jobs in the country and also stop the economy from sliding into depression.
President Buhari a letter to the Senate for the approval of the loan, said it is to enable the administration to fund the revised 2020 budget and execute some critical projects. The Senate approved the loan on June 2nd.
Speaking over the weekend, Lawan said the loan was not approved for frivolous reasons but for the betterment of Nigerians.
According to Lawan, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on Nigeria and Nigerians and that efforts need to be made to salvage the economy.
He said one of the ways to help the country is the development of some key projects which the loans will be expended on.
“We are not doing that in a frivolous way. We are very mindful, we are very patriotic on the way and manner we grant or endorse these requests and we are also very meticulous. Our Committees on Foreign and Domestic Loans have gone through all the papers to ensure that there is justification for those loans. And in fact, in the Senate, we didn’t pass all the loan requests.
We passed only the request for $5.513b. There was a $1.5b request for states. We could not see the justification and we said no. So, it was not everything that was requested that was was granted by the Senate.
I want to assure Nigerians that we would always be guided by the need for our country to be prudent; by the need for our government to be prudent and efficient in the deployment of resources. And of course in the process, we should also explore other means of funding our projects like the partnership with the private sector. All we need to do is to create an environment for the private sector to participate.