Reps probe debt profile, seek arrest of Badeh’s killers
The House of Representatives yesterday ordered immediate investigation of the nation’s debt profile to reveal what the figures were from May 2015 to June 2018.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Tajudeen Yusuf at the plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the House mandated its Committees on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Capital Market and Institutions and Banking and Currency to conduct the investigation and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
Yusuf (Kogi: PDP) expressed concern over the continued controversies on the true state of the nation’s debt profile, with the glaring disparity in the figures given by the Federal Government and some fiscal policy monitoring organizations.
He referred to the claim by the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, that the debt profile stood at $10 billion in the last three years, as against the figures given by economic and budget experts as well as economic policy monitoring bodies ranging between $l3billion and $47billion to buttress his assertions.
Yusuf claimed that an analysis of Nigeria’s external and domestic debt revealed that the external debt grew to $l7.83billion in June 2018 from $10.49billion in 2015, while domestic debt which was N8.39 trillion in June 2015 has risen to N12.15 trillion as at June 2018.
He argued that aside the rising national debt proflle, there is a sharp increase in sub-national borrowing in the last three years, such that the domestic debts of state governments rose from N1.69trillion in June 2015 to N3.4trillion in June 2018.
The lawmaker, who acknowledged that borrowing is an important and necessary strategy to reflate the economy and stimulate national growth and development, maintained that the positive impact of Nigeria’s borrowings since June 2015 is yet to be seen.
Yusuf stated that unlike global practices where borrowings are tied to specific projects mutually agreed by respective organs of government, various borrowings by the Federal Government since June 2015 have not been transparent, a situation which gives room for doubts, misconception and fear of manipulations.
The House also condemned the murder of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, by gunmen along the Keffi -Abuja expressway in Nasarawa State.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Abdulrahman Shuaibu, the House asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and the Director General (DG) of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to unravel the circumstances behind the murder and bring the culprits to book.