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Senators react, express apprehension over high debt servicing of N3b

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Senators react, express apprehension over high debt servicing of N3b

Some Senators have raised concern over N4tr to be borrowed to fund 2021 budget while debt servicing stands at N3.2Tr.

Speaking to our reporter yesterday in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget proposal presented to the National Assembly Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP Rivers) said what is worrisome is that borrowing is about N4tr while loan repayment or debt servicing is N3.2Tr.
“When you add up these two it has more or less swallowed our revenue projection with over N7tr so we are borrowing money to pay salaries.
“It is really an issue for serious concern a situation where our revenue for the year is almost equal to our borrowing and laon for the year.
“It is really worrisome because for me as a nation we are just doing a lot of motion without movement.”
Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (Taraba Central) however said as an economist he knows that borrowing is not the issue but what the borrowed money is used for.
“When you borrow for consumption, then it will be very challenging but if you borrow for the purpose of generating revenue then it is worth borrowing.
“But do we have option now? We don’t seem to have any option with the kind of deficit that we have, with the kind of capacity we have to generate income we are experiencing, so there is need to borrow to finance the budget to survive and then work hard to ensure that whatever is borrowed the  terms are met with.
He indicated that the president has emphasized that this time it is a very challenging budget.
“We have a high amount of deficit, the revenue is not commensurate with what is our expectation, we have the Covid challenge and so many  other challenges this time.
“But we are all determined, the MDAs and the national Assembly itself , we will make sure that we give Nigeria the budget that can provide better value for the Nigerian people.”

Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) said the budget is that of critical survival, under the period of corinavirus pandermic.
“I am glad the budget is conscious of the precarious situation the majority of poor Nigerians are into.
The issue of security is an issue for serious concern so more attention should be given to these two critical areas, security and secondly is the welfare of the citizens .
He said section 14(2) says the purpose of Government is welfare and security of citizens .
“I hope that the various MDAs would be thorough to implement the proposals of the president so that there will be peace and the welfare of Nigerians would be taken care of.
“We have an army of unemployed youths over there so if they are not properly engaged it is going to be just a matter of time it will explode on our face.
“I am happy that attention is being given in the area of self employment for the youths in Agriculture and small scale industries
Provisions are made for the small scale business men to be engaged but I am still worried about the debt profile and the amount that is going into debt servicing.
He said he is glad the president is aware and conscious of issue adding that when he came to that point in his speech he repeated it bringing it to the consciousness of NIgerians that we are in trouble.

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Legislature

House of reps denies tendering apology to presidency for carrying out its constitutional mandate

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House of reps denies tendering apology to presidency for carrying out its constitutional mandate

From Doris Ferdinand

The House of Representatives has debunked news making the round that it apologised to the Presidency for exercising its constitutional mandate.
This was contained in a statement that was issued by the Spokesperson of the House of Representatives
Representative  Benjamin Kalu.
He said the news in a few sections of the media that the House apologized to the Presidency over the resolution of the House was not true.
He said the issue arose from the motion sponsored by members from Borno State, requesting for the invitation of the President to brief the nation on the state of insecurity in the country adding that the President never asked for any apology.

“The President or the Presidency as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate. “Where then did the media get the report that the House as an institution apologized to anyone? Media professionals are advised to uphold the ethics of their profession.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologized to anyone for exercising her constitutional mandate and the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the critical institution of democracy – the Legislature.
“We strongly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethos and ideals as well.”

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Legislature

House leader claims no impeachment attempt was contemplated against Buhari

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House leader claims no impeachment attempt was contemplated against Buhari

***insists Chinda will face sanctions

Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon . Alhassan Ado Doguwa has debunked rumoured impeachment attemp in the Green Chamber against President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the House Leader dismissed as untrue, threat by the opposition to consider impeachment option against the President over alleged infractions against the parliament.

Doguwa described utterances to that effect made by Hon. Kingsley Chinda as “unholy, unbecoming, and unhallowed unparliamentary conduct” insisting that such rumour is mischievous.

The Leader in the statement said “I wish to declare that Hon. Chinda’s unacceptable actions smacks of disdain, disrespect and desecration of the time – honoured legislative practice amounting to flagrant abuse of the individual and collective privileges as members of the House of Representatives.

“What makes it more worrisome is that no such matter has been raised or discussed at any plenary or at any point in the life of this 9th Assembly.

“Relying on our official records, I make bold to say that Hon. Chinda used to be the Leader of the PDP Caucus in the Green Chamber but he has since ceased to be the Leader of the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives and therefore cannot claim to speak on behalf of the PDP Caucus whatsoever. His actions are regrettable, despicable and capable of jeopardizing the current working relationship with the Executive arm of government”.

The Majority Leader also stated that while the leadership and members of the House of Representatives had worked assiduously to maintain a harmonious Executive – Legislative relationship for the collective benefits of all Nigerians, it was unfortunate that Hon. Chinda’s singular action truncated President Buhari’s initial acceptance to honour the invitation of the House.

Declaring Chinda’s action as unacceptable, the Leader said the leadership, cannot fold its arms and watch a member undermine their institutional authority by spreading unfounded rumours.
“In the same vein, we as a House, and even in our respective Caucuses , have never contemplated any impeachment process against the President. There is virtually nothing in the horizon that points in that direction. “As leader of the House, I wish to seize the opportunity of this press statement to notify the general public that the House would be compelled to initiate and take legislative, legitimate and proper disciplinary action against Hon. Kingsley Chinda to serve as deterrent to others”.

Doguwa commended and congratulated President Buhari for taking appropriate actions in rescuing the over 300 abducted school boys in Kankara, Katsina State in fulfilment of the promises of his administration to protect lives and properties.

He, in the same vein, commended the government of Katsina State, governor Aminu Masari, the military, security and intelligent forces in tackling banditry, kidnapping and insurgency in the country, while he urged them to redouble their efforts to meet the expectations of Nigerians.

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Legislature

No more extension for 2020 budget implementation says Lawan

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No more extension for 2020 budget implementation says Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly would not accede to another request from the Executive to extend the capital implementation of the 2020 budget.

Lawan stated this in his remark after the upper chamber passed a N13.58 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year. 

According to the Senate President, the National Assembly’s approval granting extension for implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget last week, should therefore be fully utilized by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.

He added that the extension of capital implementation of the 2020 budget till 31st March, 2021; alongside the implementation of the 2021 budget starting in January 2021, would guarantee sufficient injection of funds into Nigeria’s economy. 

“For Nigerians, this budget that has been passed in the National Assembly today, is to ensure that the economy is supported fully through public expenditure, because the economy of our country depends largely on public expenditure. 

“The budget extension period for implementation of the 2020 budget, which we did last year, is to ensure that the funds that are available for 2020 are not lost. 

“So, there will be two budgets running; funds from 1st January, 2021, up to 31st March, 2021; and then the implementation of the 2021 budget itself to start from January. That is absolute fight against the recession we are suffering from. 

“With a projected 3 percent growth in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 2021 budget, we believe that the recession which Nigeria is in will be over before the end of the first quarter.”

Lawan, while urging the Executive arm of government to ensure the implementation of the 2020 budget till March 2021 as extended last week by the Legislature, warned that the National Assembly would reject any further extension request on the implementation of  capital expenditure contained in the 2020 budget. 

“I want to urge the executive arm of government, first to ensure that they implement the 2020 budget that will last up till 31st March, 2021. 

“There will be no extension after 31st March. Everyone must be on their toes in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure they implement the budget 2020. 

“And for 2021, we have to do everything and anything possible to ensure that we implement the budget like we tried to do in 2020.

“I believe that the economy of Nigerians will receive the right kind of boost from the implementation of the two budgets,” the Senate President said. 

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