Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Sen Olamilekan Adeola, on Thursday said the plan by the Federal Government to borrow about 30 billion dollars was a necessary step to catalyse development.
Adeola made the statement in Lagos while speaking with newsmen at the End-of the-Year-Party he organised for residents of his Lagos West Senatorial constituency.
He said concerns raised in some quarters about the loan were not necessary, as the facility was needed to promote the economy.
Adeola said that the loan was necessary to fund many ambitious on-going projects across the country, which would impact greatly on the economy and lives of Nigerians when completed.
”’The 30 billion dollar loan the Federal Government is sourcing for is not one of those frivolous loans; this is a loan that is tied to projects.
”This loan is needed to fund landmark and ambitious projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the East-West Road, the Second Niger Bridge, among others.
”We need a large chunk of money to get all these projects completed. So, it is only if the government access this loan that we can give all these great projects in the right direction.
”Again, the government needs this loan to execute those projects that would impact and transform the economy and put the country on the path of progress. So, the loan is necessary,” he said.
The senator said the country was faced with a serious infrastructural deficit that would be substantially reduced with the government accessing the loan.
He said the 9th National Assembly was working in tandem with the executive to deliver on all on-going projects across the country.
Adeola said the country’s economy was on the course of progress and it would even get better with the policies of the executive and the interventions of the National Assembly.
He said the return of the budget cycle to January to December would significantly promote the development of the country.
”The economy is moving in the right direction; the economy is blossoming.
”We in the ninth assembly just succeeded in returning the budget cycle to January to December, and with this, we have ensured all that needs to be done in a calendar year can be achieved.
”There is no more haphazard budget implementation; we now have a full year budget implementation which runs from January to December,” he said.
He said the National Assembly had amended the Public Procurement Act to increase the mobilisation for contracts from 15 per cent to 30 per cent.
Adeola explained that the aim of the amendment was to ensure that contractors were well mobilised to address the problem of abandoned projects .
The Senator said that the Finance Bill recently passed into law, was to address all the issues with taxation with a view to promoting development.
He said the Senate Committee, headed by him, would continue to discharge its duties in line with the progress of the country.
Adeola said the belief in some quarters that the 9th National Assembly was a rubber stamp to the executive was unfair.
He said the legislature would always act independently of the executive.
Adeola said that the legislature was collaborating with the executive for progress and it should not be misnterpreted that the National Assembly was a rubber stamp.