Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has explained why the house has not considered the $22.7bn loan application by the federal government.
He said that exclusion of the South East geopolitical zone of the country required a serious rethink, to arrive at “some kind of amicable resolution” following his meeting with the Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab.
There have been protests by National Assembly members from the South East on the exemption of the region from the loan.
He was responding to dissenting views raised by the Leaders of Faith Forum that the Nigerian government should not go ahead with the planned loan application given the country’s economic situation.
Although, the Speaker said that government knows the various needs for the loan, it must be fair to all zones within the geographical space – Nigeria.
“I think more important is the equity of the law and whether or not we are able to distribute these things fairly considering the very nature of the structure of our country.
“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 Director-General of Budget Office.
“It is a matter that we are looking at seriously. I hope that there will be some kind of amicable resolutions, so that everybody will be carried along,” he said.
The Senate had on March 5 approved the loan application by the president. But the House of Representatives need to give assent to it.