• Friday, May 24, 2024
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 ‘Nigeria may not be able to repay $1bn loan amidst dwindling revenue’

hon.abdulmumin.jibrinAbdulmumin Jibril, chairman, House Committee on Finance, on Tuesday, disclosed that Nigeria may not be able to repay the $1 billion loan considering the unprecedented decline in revenue generation.

President Goodluck Jonathan had asked the National Assembly to grant approval to his government to borrow an external loan of $1 billion (about N165bn) to upgrade the equipment of the armed forces.

Jubril, who responded to the inquiry made by speaker Aminu Tambuwal on President Goodluck Jonathan’s request, noted that the loan will be paid back within seven years starting from 2015.

The lawmaker, who expressed concern over the dwindling revenue, argued that the country may not be able to finance the debt as envisaged.

He explained that the committee held a meeting with relevant agencies against the backdrop of the continuous declining revenue of the country to determine repayment for the loan.

Jibril further noted that some of the security agencies for which the supposed equipment were meant for did not know details of the equipment the Federal Government proposed to procure.

“We need to ask questions. We are seeking information from the relevant agencies, some agencies don’t even know what is theirs and they are not pretending about it,” he said.

While responding, Tambuwal directed the House Committee on Finance to present the report on the $1 billion to the House by next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Femi Gbajabiamila, minority leader, during Tuesday’s plenary session warned members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to drag the House into disrepute over the alleged importation of arms that led to the seizure of $9.3 million by the South African authorities.