The Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Monday urged the Chinese government to disregard the letter by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, where he ( Fayose) asked the government to reject the loan deal being sought for by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gbajabiamila in a letter dated April 18 and addressed to the Chinese President, Xi Jingping said Buhari took the right decision on behalf of Nigerians by signing a $6bn investment package with its government during his visit to the country, since he was “overwhelmingly” elected to govern the country.
He appealed to the Chinese government to ignore Fayose’s request, saying the governor is not in the position to speak for Nigeria, a country that operates a federal structure.
Gbajabiamila’s letter reads, “Mr. President, perhaps our governor is not fully seized on the way budgeting works at the federal level. The Federal Government of Nigeria has a three-year budget rolling plan captured under a Medium Term Expenditure Framework. The MTEF 2016-2018 has a borrowing component in which the legislature approved for the President to incur both domestic and foreign loans for the purposes of infrastructural development and deficit financing.
“This MTEF was passed unanimously, by the National Assembly including the six House members and three senators from Ekiti, the governor’s state.
“I am therefore dismayed as are many members of the National Assembly that the governor Fayose would claim that the loan sought from your government did not have parliamentary imprimatur.
“It is also a fallacy that the country’s debt is being financed with 25 per cent of the Federal Government’s annual budget as there is something in economic and legislative borrowing parlance called nominal debt service where a portion of borrowed monies in this case about N1.3tn stays within the country’s financial system. Such are the intricacies of national debts, aids and loans.”
The letter was a response to an earlier one Fayose wrote to the Chinese President condemning Buhari’s trip to China and his alleged bid for a $2bn loan from the Chinese government.
Gbajabiamila stated that contrary to Fayose’s stance, the President actually notified the legislature in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework of his intention to seek foreign loans to finance the country’s three-budgeting plan.