The Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru on Thursday debunked reports that the senate chamber is always quick to approve loan requests from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Making the clarification while speaking with newsmen shortly after the plenary, Basiru said the latest loan request took the senators about six weeks of intense scrutiny before it was granted approval.
Basiru spoke hours after President Muhammadu Buhari sent a letter, seeking a $5.5 billion loan was read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
“I think it is not correct to say that the senate is usually quick to approve loan requests by the executive. I will take us back memory lane, the last of tranche of loan request which are normally composed of domestic borrowing and external borrowing,” he said.
“It took the senate committee of a period of five or six weeks to scrutinise the request and all agencies that are supposed to expend the money were requested to appear for specific projects to which this borrowing was attached to and the details were requested by the senate.
“I want to say in all sense of responsibility that we are not quick to approve the request [loan request] – there is a lot of misinformation about the reclassification of the source of the initially N850 billion external loan. What the Senate did on the floor when we resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown was just to approve that the initially approved loan should be sourced from domestic markets because of the vagueness of the international market.
“It is not empirical to say we are quick, at the same time we must also get one thing right. Senators are also Nigerians. we are also citizens and we must also be patriotic.”