OrderPaperToday – The Spokesman of the Senate, Ajibola Basiru (APC, Osun) has dismissed suggestions that the chamber quickly approves every request sought by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This he stated in a press briefing on Thursday after the day’s plenary where Buhari had sought legislative approval to borrow $5.513 billion.
In a bid to ward off the suggestion of swift assent to presidential requests, Basiru noted that at a time, the chamber took close to six weeks to consider one of such requests.
He said: “I think it is not correct to say that the senate is usually quick to approve loan requests by the executive. I will take us back memory lane, the last of tranche of loan request which are normally composed of domestic borrowing and external borrowing.
“It took the senate committee of a period of five or six weeks to scrutinize the request and all agencies that are supposed to expend the money were requested to appear for specific projects to which these borrowing was attached to and the details were requested by the senate.
“I want to say in all sense of responsibility that we are not quick to approve the request [loan request] – there is a lot of misinformation about the reclassification of the source of the initially N850 billion external loan.
“What the senate did on the floor when we resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown was just to approve that the initially approved loan should be sourced from domestic markets because of the vagueness of the international market.
“It is not empirical so say we are quick, at the same time we must also get one thing right: Senators are also Nigerians. we are also citizens and we must also be patriotic.”