The House of Representatives has faulted its Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements for investigating the $500m loan Nigeria recently obtained from China, saying it had already been approved by the National Assembly and captured in the 2020 Appropriation Act.
Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, who is also the leader of the All Progressives Congress caucus in the House, spoke while reacting to calls by the Peoples Democratic Party for the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, to step aside for ‘frustrating’ investigations into the Chinese loan.
PDP had faulted the decision of the House to stop its committees from going ahead with investigative hearings at a point when the Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements had written the Ministry of Transportation, demanding documents containing loan agreements with China from 2000 to date.
The loans the committee is probing include the $500m loan secured from China-EXIM Bank to finance railway projects under the Ministry of Transportation.
However, in a statement titled ‘You’re suffering from horrific political hallucinations – Doguwa replies the PDP’, Ado-Doguwa, on Monday, said it was unfortunate that PDP “does not know the workings of the National Assembly, let alone know where the constitution and the House procedures have been breached”.
The House Leader noted that there was no need to continue probing the $500m Chinese loan since it had already been approved by the National Assembly and captured in the 2020 budget.
He said, “Hence, making reference to the recent $500m China loan by the PDP spokesman which has already been approved by the National Assembly through a transparent and formal request was either a deliberate misrepresentation of facts or an utter ignorance of history.
“Therefore, it is pertinent to know that the government has already captured the recent loan in the 2020 appropriation law and it should not be a subject of any controversy or query in the committee’s investigation process, at least for now.
“And as a matter of norm and procedure, the House can only wait until disbursements and utilisation commence before embarking on oversight implementation.”
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