By Abba Dukawa
Like we all know one of the functions of the National Assembly include the making of laws, controlling of the finances of the State and also a critical role to check the actions of government and history will judge you leaders and members for not being proactive in directing our economy towards enhancing its innate capacity of attaining self-sufficiency, the ultimate safety valve for debt dependence.
Let Mr Senate President and House Speaker all know your current positions is a responsibility bestowed on them by God and you know that you will account for every deed and you engaged in under oath as a president and speaker you will appear before Almighty Allah in chain on the day of judgment.
Maybe our lawmakers easily forgotten that their mandate was hard fought and won. Their peoples overwhelmingly voted them with the expectation of having a new dawn of Innovative legislature. One of the most important qualities of a public servants includes integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence, and positivity. In order to be an effective public servants you must think about peoples and situation facing them.
We electorates were expected to have 9th Innovative legislature that prioritise citizens’ opinion and create new ways to make their voices heard, giving them the ability to provide input into regulations, budgets, and the provision of services. Citizens’ expectations of public legislators’ performance influence their attitudes and behaviour towards services,including satisfaction, choice of service and political voice about them.
Your conducts since you take the oath of office is scary to the well being of state and the citizens considering the way the things going on in the country. Like not doing the needful in critical role to check the actions of government. Nigerians utmost fear for continue survival of the country is the state of over debt dependence by the government to finance its programs from both domestic and foreign loans.
If leadership of national assembly not do the needful who can protect the interest of messes. Recall that President Buhari’s first tenure in office couldn’t deliver to the expectations of Nigerians, especially, the lower class citizens. The government, throughout its first tenure put blame on the leadership of the 8th assembly, specifically, Bukalo Saraki. Again Nigerians voted the government in 2019 hoping that since there would be change in the leadership of the National Assembly, the aspirations of Nigerians would be achieved. Ironical, Nigerians cry more than they did in the first tenure that was blamed to have unprogressive leadership in its National Assembly.
In my widely published articled tittle Why National Assembly, PMB must watch Nigeria’s debt profile on January 23, 2020 expressed my humbled opinions on the state of debt.
Let me reiterated the concerns of voice of voiceless of millions Nigerians whose they voice are not heard and consider by the leaders. Did leadership of National Assembly consider the burden of over debt to be left by the government going to be too weighty for the lean shoulders of our weak economy ? Will Nigerians not be turned to slaves and beggars in their own country by the creditor nations.
Let leadership of Nigeria’s National Assembly understand history will judges them as legislative leaders that compromising they responsibilities in checkmating this reckless loans spree by the government. I can’t call you rubber stamp of the presidency but its seem there is much compromise in discharge your responsibilities.
Within this month the National Assembly approve a fresh foreign loan of $5.513 billion for the purposes of implementing the revised 2020 budget, assisting states to fight COVID-19, and tackling food security.
Despite there was another $22.79bn loan approved by the Senate. Just last week the lower House eventually gave its approval to the old one last week, how can you guarantee Nigerians that the President will not come up with the new request soon after.
These approval of this loans clearly demonstrated your gross insensitivity toward citizens and unborn one future. What is the guarantee that the administration and the subsequent ones would have the capacity to repay without harming the security and welfare of the citizens which are primary reasons for being in government?
With recently President Buhari called for debt forgiveness for Nigeria and other nations. Its has demonstrated the even PMB’s administration knew the state of debt taken its greatest liability to the continue existence of the country and even the coming administration can’t afford it.
In April, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said the government is seeking a temporary suspension from multilateral and bilateral creditors to unlock funds to battle the illness that is spreading fast in Africa’s most populous country.
Did the leadership of national assembly and those in the executive arms of government considering the fears of Nigerians about the whole debts is that they are as terms and conditions attached to the debt by the creditor agencies there are the consequences which can be detrimental to the country, if things do not go as planned after over-exposed the country to debts.
According to Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO), the country’s debt stock as at April 2020 stood at $27 billion, thereby exceeding the 2005 level of $20 billion which spawned the country’s stampede for debt forgiveness by the London and Paris Clubs of creditors. After the successful downward resolution of the country’s external debt profile to $3.5 billion in 2006, the country later commenced another build-up of external debts until it got to the present level than clearly calls for caution, by the nation’s fiscal authorities.
Nearly half of Nigeria’s outstanding external debt is with multilateral lenders, led by the World Bank Group with $10.1 billion. Beijing-based Export-Import Bank of China is the second-biggest creditor with loans totaling $3.2 billion, while Eurobonds account for $10.86 billion or 39% of external debt. Other are From the African Development Bank Group there is the: ADB $1.359 billion; ADF $926.14 million; BADEA $5.88 million; EDF $55.17 million; IDB $14.26 million; and IFAD $197.84 million for which Nigeria is seeking cancellation.
Nigeria doesn’t have any justification to request for a debt relief since its not care for taken loans. Even President Buhari’s plea to international financial institutions for an outright cancellation of Nigeria’s debt obligation to Nigeria to help better withstand the coronavirus pandemic would be a unjustifiable.
Debt forgiveness for Nigeria I don’t think this second chance can be possible. But the current concern is who will pay these huge debts?