Journalism of Courage

Amend law for govt to settle N2.7 trillion debt, Osinbajo writes Senate

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he federal government has asked the Senate to amend its spending law to enable a debt program to settle 2.7 trillion naira ($8.6 bln) worth of obligations including pensions and salary arrears, according to a letter from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The letter, read out in the Senate on Tuesday, requested amendments to the law, which stipulates allocation of government spending, to allow  the government to fund recurrent expenditure from proceeds of the debt rather than just capital projects.

The vice president sent the letter to the Senate last month while President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical leave in Britain.

Meanwhile, senators across the aisle alleged that the 2017 budget has been poorly implemented. They spoke of the dire financial and economic consequences of the poor implementation.



The lawmakers observed that with three months to the end of the year, only about 10 per cent of the N7.4 trillion budget estimate had been implemented.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC Lagos East) stressed the need for the government to make budgetary releases to stimulate the economy.

He was concerned that since the 2017 Appropriation Act came to being, only about N310 billion had been released by the Federal Government to Ministries, Departments and Agencies as funding for capital projects.

To him, this is far too low to stimulate the economy and address pressing challenges.




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