The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Mr Opeyemi Bamidele, has defended the recent loan approval of $22.5bn granted to the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Bamidele told journalists at his Iyin Ekiti country home that the approval was not done for political patronage as being misconstrued, but to save the country’s economy from sliding into recession.
The senator, who spoke shortly after a programme organised for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, to celebrate his appointment, insisted that the senate did nothing wrong.
According to him, the N10.8 trillion 2020 budgetary provision by the Buhari-led government was also fashioned in a way that would avert recurrence of recession.
” The step we took was to avert economic recession because to prevent such, government would have to build infrastructure such as roads, rail lines , create wealth ,provide employment and carry out other social services to help the people.
“The legislative and the executive arms are working toward the same goal. It is for the development of our nation.
” The planners of the economy knew that our budget must be well funded because we have to keep spending on infrastructure to avert recession.
“The 2020 budget estimate of the Federal Government was high and the government must ensure that it is made implementable through proper funding and the loan will help in making the funds available.
“The question the people should ask is what are the plans in place for proper spending of the loan? Our people should see it as a welcome development and way to keep our economy soaring.
“It is important that we set a template for proper funding of the budget. But we are assuring Nigerians that the senate won’t allow corruption under any guise. We are going to put proper legislaton in place to stop pilfering of our money.
“In a democracy, criticisms are normal, but our people should be more concerned about ensuring that the loan is well appropriated for the projects that will create wealth and lift our economy up and I have no doubt that President Buhari won’t fail in this aspect,” he said.
He commended Adebayo for his steadfasness in the progressives fold , saying this had distinguished him as a politician with the quest for development and the upliftment of the populace.
The lawmaker appealed to the former Ekiti governor to use his position to bring dividends of democracy to the state, especially by focusing on the growth of small and medium scale enterprises through proper funding.