OrderPaperToday – Some members of the House of Representatives have defended the federal government’s proposed sum of N3.124 trillion allocation for debt servicing as contained in the 2021 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The 2021 appropriation bill was presented before a joint session of the parliament on Thursday.
The President’s proposals contained allocations to key sector of the economy as well as a N3.12 trillion budget for servicing of debts.
The lawmakers in exclusive chat with OrderPaperNG justified the borrowing with the argument that countries all over the world borrow funds to fund their capital projects.
Mr. Adebumi Segun (APC, Oyo) explained that no amount of funds would ever be enough for any particular sector of the economy and urged all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government to utilize the funds allocated judiciously.
He also expressed reservations on the allocation to education. “The budget proposed for education is not enough because of the long deficit in infrastructure but if we can be prudent in whatever is available, that is very key,” he said, adding:
“Because of the deficit in infrastructure the Nigerian government has been taking loans to bridge the gap. Don’t also forget that they have an obligation to pay up these loans and that is what they are doing so as to enable them ask for more loans”.
On his part, Mr. Chinedu Ogah (APC, Ebonyi) corroborated the position of his colleague on the debt servicing issue. “I will like to say there’s no any country in the world that would do without borrowing, even America cannot develop without borrowing,” he said and added:
“Instead of selling the investment of this country, it is better to borrow. My concern is all the borrowing should be invested in such a way that people can see the benefits and also so that there can be turn over to enable us service the debts”.
In his reaction on the N128 billion proposal made for the National Assembly (NASS) in the 2021 budget, the Ebonyi lawmaker said the leadership of NASS was in a better position to state whether the money was enough or not.