The Leader of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Monday that President Muhammadu Buhari took the right decision on behalf of Nigerians by signing a $6bn investment package with China during his week-long visit to the Asian country.
Buhari got the mandate of Nigerians, having “overwhelmingly” elected him to govern the country.
The All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Lagos State, made the observation in a letter he addressed to the Chinese President, Xi Jingping.
The letter, dated April 18, was a response to an earlier letter the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, wrote Jingping, condemning Buhari’s trip for alleged bid for a $2bn loan from the Chinese government.
Gbajabiamila advised the Chinese President to ignore Fayose, whom he said had no authority to speak on behalf of Nigeria, a country with a federal structure.
He also argued that contrary to Fayose’s position that Buhari did not brief the National Assembly before engaging in such international deals on behalf of Nigeria, the President actually notified the legislature in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework that he would resort to borrowing to fund Nigeria’s three-budgeting plan.
Part of the letter to Jingping read:-
“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 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.”