By: Joy Odor
Senator Oseni Yakubu, representing Kogi Central Senatorial District has suggested to the Federal Government and to the Senate that borrowing to finance the Country budget year in and year out is out of the question and will not yield any result as it is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
He stated that after borrowing, the country would go back to service the same debt, advising for the need to engage the Public Private Partnership to raise revenue for the budget (PPP) to reduce borrowing in the country.
The Senator who made the suggestion in an interview to reportcircle after the debate on the 2021 budget in the upper chamber on Thursday opined that instead of borrowing, it is better to make do with the available resources in the country.
“Nigeria borrows and at the same time service the debts, noting that borrowing is not the problem but to pay back.
“Year in-year out, we usually borrow to finance the budget and at the end of the day, the budget we are borrowing to met, we only implement 50% of the budget. Instead of borrowing, why don’t you use what you have? Whatever you are generating, you cut your budget down based on it.
“If you take a look at some elements of the budget, we borrow and we are servicing debts. Borrowing is not the problem but to pay back. That is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“My candid advice to the Federal Government is that we should encourage PPP instead of borrowing. Let the people we are borrowing from invest in the country. When they invest, it will be inform of PPP and do it informed of Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis”, like 10 – 20 years. This is the best than increasing your debt every year, what is the use when the borrowed money is not reforming anything “he stated.
Speaking on the Abuja-Lakota road project, the lawmaker mentioned that the road contract has been awarded over a decade ago and little or nothing has been done since then.
Senator Oseni was of the opinion that the Senate Committee on Works and Housing should be mandated to monitor the project to ensure that funds appropriated are judiciously used and also ensures that the contractors deliver a quality job.
“The case is that the standard of the little they are doing is low compared to the Abuja-Kaduna road”, he stated.
‘My advised is for the Senate to prioritize Okene Lokoja road in the proposed budget as part of the federal road and not to be treated as an oversight.
“The trunk A road should be the major priority of the ministry of works and housing, the Committee in charge of the monitoring of contract should consider quality job in Okene Lokoja road by promising it alongside Abuja-Kaduna and Kano road.
‘Since the capital expenditure has not been fully utilized, he urged the Senate to consider a balance budget by using the available percentage on the budget and encourage public private partnership (PPP) to discourage borrowing’ Senate Useni stressed.