ABUJA – The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the long term impact of the country’s debt burden and her ability to repay the loans in a “sustainable” and “responsible” manner is a cause for concern.
Gbajabiamila, who stated this on Tuesday while welcoming House members back from their annual vacation, expressed dismay that the spate of crude oil theft and other acts of economic sabotage has led to massive decline of government revenue.
According to the Speaker, in the interactions between the parliament and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( MTEF/FSP), the major concerns have been what will be the scope of deficit financing in the 2023 budget, as well as, the decline in crude oil production owing to theft and sabotage.
The Speaker explained that in considering the 2023 Appropriation Bill, when it is presented, the House would be guided by the question of how the country can repay loans taken to finance the budget. He noted that the parliament would also take into consideration provisions of extant laws, especially as it relates to financing budget deficits.
“While the House appreciates that our current fiscal conditions necessitate borrowing to finance budgetary expenditures, we are, nonetheless, concerned about the long-term impact of this burden on the country and our ability to pay what we owe in a responsible and sustainable way. These questions will be central to our consideration of the 2023 Appropriation Bill when presented,” he said.
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