The Senate Tuesday through two of its standing committees, hit hard on relevant agencies of the executive arm of government expecting foreign loans and seeking approval for 2021 budget proposals.
While the upper legislative chamber committee on local and foreign debts at an interface with the ministries of Agriculture, Finance and Debt Management Office over 995million Euros and $1.5billion foreign loans, ordered them to furnish it with more details before approval, the Committee on FCT suspended approval of the N8.5billion 2021 budget proposal tabled before it by FCT – IRS .
Trouble for the two segments of foreign loans being sought by the federal government for mechanised farming and execution of critical infrastructure across the 36 states of the federation in preventing the third wave of COVID – 19 in the country came when both the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohmmamed Sabo Nanono and the Director General of Debt Management Office , Patience Oniha, failed to give the committee satisfactory answers on preparedness for the loans.
Specifically, plan of actions tabled before the committee by the Minister of Agriculture on the 995million Euros loans being sought for Agricultural Mechanisation across the 774 local government councils in the country was faulted by virtually all the members of the committee headed by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP Edo Central).
Senator Oriolowo, who is an Agricultural Engineer by profession told the Minister that based on personal experience, the plans he tabled before them will not yield any positive results.
“Beautiful plans like the ones you have just unfolded, are not new in this country . Please re-jig the plans to be in tune with productivity needs of the real or rural farmers if you don’t want the money being sought for to go down in drains,” he said.
On the $1.5billion loan being sought for the 36 states government and the Federal Capital Territory for execution of critical infrastructure against resurgence of COVID – 19 pandemic, the Committee Chairman, Clifford Ordia, directed the DG DMO to furnish them with credit worthiness of the states, which she couldn’t provide.
Consequently, the committee resolved that the DG, DMO, must furnish it with such information before approval can be given for the loan.