2019 Budget: Reps flay double exchange rates, debt burden

OrderPaperToday – Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday condemned the multiple exchange rate and rising debt profile facing the country.

Several members voiced their concerns while reacting to the recommendations of the Appropriation Committee of the House during the consideration of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

On issue of the exchange rate of $1 to N305, Emma Oghene-Egoh (PDP, Lagos) stated that the federal government only uses the N305 to $1 for revenue conversion, while other businesses of government do not follow the approved exchange rate.

In response, the chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Babangida (APC, Kano) stated that the the committee raised the issue with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but was explained as a “technical issue.”

Babangida added that maybe the next Assembly will be able to resolve the issue.

On the rising debt profile, members of the House criticised the fiscal policy of the present administration, noting that such policy is unsustainable.

Members of the House also raised issue on the debt to GDP ratio, faulting the proposed deficit of N1.64 trillion.

Speaking on the debt profile, Betty Apiafi said: “The national total debt stands at 22trillion, and the committee is recommending 1.6trillion, we are in this chamber and the debt is raising, and we are still spending trillions on fuel subsidy. I would have appreciated it if this document has the total amount spent on fuel subsidy.”

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