The House of Representatives says it stepped down discussions on the $22.7b loan request from President Muhammadu Buhari because some regions were not captured in the spending plan.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila made this known when he played host to leaders of Faith Forum from the south-south and south-east in Abuja on Wednesday.
Gbajabiamila noted that though the lawmakers believe in the government’s loan request, they further believe that such resources must be evenly distributed among the citizens.
“If government believes that there’s need for the loan, I think we should support that, because they know as they’re the ones that see what is needed and what is not needed,” he said.
“What I think for me is more important is the equity of the law and whether or not we’re able to distribute these things fairly considering the very nature of the structure of our country,” he noted.
Gbajabiamila added that necessary discussions have already begun with the finance minister and the DG budget (office) to correct the noticed discrepancies.
“I know there has been a lot of agitation about the south-east not benefiting from the loan. It is one of the reasons we haven’t considered the loan in the house. I’ve discussed with the finance minister and the DG budget (office).
“It’s a matter that we’re looking at seriously. I’m hoping that there will be some kind of amicable resolution so that everybody will be carried along. Equity suggests that all zones must be carried along.”
Naija News reports though the Senate has already approved the President’s loan request, the House of Reps also have to approve it before the loan can take effect.
The speaker said the house will work towards a “fair resolution” of the issue so that it leads to “something that will bring us together and unite us as a country.”