The senate president, Mr. Ahmad Lawan yesterday condemned the federal ministry of power, federal ministry of health, federal ministry of women affairs, ministry of petroleum resources, federal ministry of water resources, and federal ministry of environment, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASEI) and some other MDAs for alleged sabotage of the federal government’s effort to provide critical infrastructure in the country.
Ahmad who was reacting to the refusal by MDAs to justify some listed projects said despite several invitations extended to them by the local and foreign debt committee of the senate, such MDAs had consistently refused to appear to justify projects listed for funding through the loan requests sought by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The senate president therefore gave the erring MDAs one week to appear before the relevant committees of senate or face the wrath of the law.
He said some ministries and agencies of the federal government that should have appeared before the senate committee on a loan and foreign debts to defend the debt request by the executive arm of government had failed to appear.
“The senate considers this attitude as sabotage to the effort of the federal government to secure the loans and fund the infrastructural development that this country desperately needs.
“Already, the national assembly has approved the loan request, but there is need for justification.
“I will, therefore, call the names of these MDAs, and we are giving them just one week to appear before the Committee on Loan and Foreign Debts.
“If they fail to appear, we will take appropriate and prompt action, because this senate will not condone any sabotage to the efforts of this administration to provide infrastructure to this country,” he said.
Recall that the senate had on July 15 approved Buhari’s external loan request to the tune of $8,325,526,537 and €490,000,000 under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan.
Besides, he had in another request contained in a letter read on September 14 sought the approval of the senate to borrow an additional sum of $4,054,476,863 and €710 million Euros.
The president explained that the loans were needed to fund projects listed in the addendum to the 2018 to 2021 federal government external borrowing plan.
According to him, the projects are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China Exim Bank, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Credit Swiss Group, and Standard Chartered, in the credit total sum of $4.5 billion, €710 million and grant component of $125 million.