The Chairman, Senate Community on Army, Ali Ndume, has faulted what he described as the hasty manner with which the ninth National Assembly often approves external loan requests made by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ndume, who spoke with reporters in Abuja, also insisted the present external debt burden put at over N35trillion by the Debt Management Office (DMO) was worrisome.
He lamented that the hurry to grant loan requests from the executive by the National Assembly has made Nigerians to become suspicious of their elected representatives and also nicknamed them ‘Rubber stamp’.
He insisted that while loans are good for the purpose of investment and infrastructure development, using 90 percent of such loans to service debts is not tenable.
Responding to a question on the recent request to borrow $4billion and Euro 710million as part of the 2018 – 2021 external borrowing plan of the Federal Governor and its implication on the nation’s economy, Ndume said it is ‘worrisome’.
According to him, “Borrowing is not a crime but when the rate of debt servicing increases and I understand it’s getting to 80 – 90 percent, you have to be cautious. You have to look at alternatives”.
He also expressed worry over what he described as the hasty manner with which the Senate and by extension the National Assembly approves loans without critical analysis of what the loans are meant for and their implications on the economy.