NASS Spit Fire Over Amaechi’s Accusations
The Nigerian Senate has dismissed claims by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, that the refusal by the legislature to approve the $29.96bn external borrowing plan of the Federal Government is frustrating some critical infrastructural projects as untrue.
The National Assembly has therefore specifically asked the minister to withdraw his statement or face their wrath.
It all began at the Town Hall meeting held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital when Amaechi said refusal by the National Assembly to approve the request for foreign loan as counterpart fund by Nigeria was frustrating the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan and Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna-Kano rail lines.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, in a statement, stated that Amaechi’s comment “was not only false, misrepresenting and contradictory to available fact but it also portrayed the minister as not in tune with the position of the government in which he is serving”.
According to Aliyu, “As of today, the only request for approval from the executive for loan was the one dated January 27, 2017 and signed by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, seeking a ‘resolution of the National Assembly for the issuance of $1bn Euro Bond in the international capital market for the funding of the 2016 budget deficit’ and we immediately granted the approval.
“Also, in the letter quoted above, the government mentioned the two rail lines cited by the minister as part of the projects for which the Euro Bond will be utilized. So, we cannot understand what the grouse of Mr. Amaechi is. We view that statement strongly as an attempt to incite the people against the National Assembly.
While asking the minister to immediately withdraw the statement, NASS also vowed to take up the matter with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.