Nigerian Senate

The Senate has berated the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, over claims that the National Assembly is yet to approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s borrowing plans needed to fund capital projects in the 2017 budget.

The Red Chamber said there Is no pending loan request currently before it, adding that all requests from President Buhari were approved before the National Assembly embarked on its annual recess in July.

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Senate President Bukola Saraki, who dismissed the allegation, said the claims by the Minister, last Tuesday, were false.

Saraki said: “There is no request before us about borrowing we have not approved. We approved all the requests before we went on break. I needed to make this explanation because of what the Minister of Finance said that the National Assembly is holding on to borrowing requests sent by the executive.”

Adeosun had, on Tuesday, while giving a report on the level of the implementation of the 2017 budget, before a joint committee of the Senate on Appropriation and Finance, claimed that the Federal Government cannot fund capital projects because the National Assembly was yet to approve borrowing plan requests from the President.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe Central) had countered her, adding that the Senate was not in possession of any loan request from the executive. But Adeosun had insisted and blamed the low pace of the implementation of the budget on the non-approval by the National Assembly

Saraki, who presided over plenary, warned that the executive must ensure that the 2017 budget is implemented. He also warned against selective implementation of the budget.

Saraki also proposed that since the executive may not implement more than 50 percent of the 2017 budget, it should consider increasing the 2018 budget to N10 trillion.