30 January 2014

Nigeria: Senators Fault Okonjo-Iweala Over Deficits in 2014 Budget

Photo: Leadership
Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

More Senators yesterday took a swipe at Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for implementing policies pushed by western financial institutions to strangulate Nigerians.

The lawmakers who spoke at the continuation of debate on the merits and general principles of the 2014 budget bill in Abuja yesterday maintained that policies being pursued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank cannot fit into Nigeria.

Senator Smart Adeyemi (PDP, Kogi) said: "let us not throw the baby and the bath water away; the minister of finance must be told that economic policy of the World Bank and IMF are not good for Nigeria; we need infrastructural facilities for growth; we don't need the commendation of the IMF, what we need is the commendation of the local people".

Adeyemi further argued that oil firms in the country should be encouraged to participate in the energy sector, through gas to power programme and that more money should be provided for the insurgents prone North East, completion of Lagos-Ibadan Express Way and the Second Niger Bridge.

Senator Olusola Adeyeye (APC, Osun) called for the termination of what he called "financial rascality and criminal enjoyment of politicians" to enable Nigeria prosper.

He regretted that the finance minister who had championed Nigeria's debt repayment during the regime of former president Olusegun Obasanjo was now leading the country back to the IMF and World Bank debt traps.

In their contributions, Senators Mohammed Danjuma Goje and Babayo Gamawa lamented the meager allocation to the agricultural sector and advocated for a better funding of the sector which employs over 70 percent of Nigerians.

Senator Ita Enang (PDP, Akwa Ibom) yesterday alleged that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) allegedly expended N98 billion to purchase the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) building at the Central Area, Abuja, five star hotel and convention center among others.

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