Citing veiled details, divided Senate trashes PMB’s plan to borrow $29.8bn
After days of announcements and build up by the Executive to borrow about $30bn to fund critical infrastructure and beat recession, the Senate this afternoon, Tuesday, November 1, 2016, threw away the executive bill on grounds of poor packaging. This came after two rounds of voice votes at the floor of the red Chambers.
Though there was no reason given on the floor of the Nigerian Senate to throw away the executive bill, but shortly after the plenary came to a close, the Senate majority leader, Senator Ali Ndume addressed the press, saying “There were some technical details that are supposed to be attached to the bill that were not there and that could not allow for salutary legislative attention, hence the throwing out”.
However, there are signals that in the letter that was sent to the Senate through the Leader, Ali Ndume, were supposed to be accompanied by the ‘borrowing plan and projects intended for’.
Experts say the absence of the borrowing plan will not give lawmakers the background to even debate the deal or give any anticipatory approval in the first instance.
On whether the rejection was forever or another window for the presidency to go back and rework on the documentation and come back, an influential lawmaker who pleaded anonymity told Business Hilights crew that “recall that the leading question for the bill was put twice by the presiding Senate President, Senator Olubukola Saraki and the reason is to get it right before the eyes of Nigerians”.
“At the first instance, you and I know that it was not a surety hence the second voice votes which clearly interpreted the minds of Nigerians and I think that is final. This country needs to look inwards and solve our recession problem than create another most dangerous one in the name of solving recession.
The lawmaker explained that “In law making, when a bill is thrown out on voice vote, it take a lot to bring t back”.
It would be recalled that during the arguments for or against the bill seeking to borrow the money from World Bank and IMF, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume made frantic efforts to convince other into believing that the fund will be dedicated to infrastructure and other key ease of doing business parameters in the country, but the absence of the borrowing plan as supposed to be attached, bungled the entire efforts at the floor of the house.