$29.9bn: Why we must borrow but avoid pain for Nigerians – Rep

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House of Representatives member representing Akoko-Edo at the National Assembly, Hon Peter Akpatason, on Tuesday backed the federal government decision to borrow $29.9 billion to jump-start and pulled the country out of the current recession.

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The lawmaker who spoke to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, while noting such borrowing must be channelled to capital development however explained that the rejection by the senate to throw away the request was to give ample opportunity to the executive to properly give all the relevant economic details before it is further presented again before the house.

He stated, “In sourcing the funds to provide such solution, there is the need to be extremely calculative and mindful of the further consequences of borrowing because while it might be expedient to borrow money to solve the problem of recession we must realize that when you borrow you have to pay.

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“As you borrow today you are creating a burden for future generation and you then have to look at the productive capacity of the economy if it is strong enough to continue to bear the burden of such loan we are going into.

“The Debt Management Office must come out clearly with what the status is today as to the borrowing capacity of this economy so that we don’t over-stretch it because if we do that we stand a chance of been able to sustain the situation as it were and any unsustainable policy must not be pursued this time. So what that boils down is yes we need to borrow but how much can we borrow and pay back without creating future challenges for Nigeria people.

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“We also need to ensure that whatever money that is borrowed is not use for recurrent expenditure but for capital expenditure that is capable of generating job opportunities and creating wealth for Nigeria people, providing the critical infrastructure that we need to catapult this economy from the low edge to the desirable level where we can be self –sufficient in the local production of a lot of consumable.

“If the fund can be channel towards that it will be worthy of our approval but where the request to the national assembly does not clearly state the purpose and the sustainability it then becomes difficult to give full support. There is also need to dialogue on it because this idea of the executive presenting document without having consultation and dialogue before reaching that level, I don’t think is the best approach, we need to ensure that due process is followed.”

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