In a statement released on Wednesday, by Abdullahi Sabi, the spokesman of the Nigerian Senate, the lawmakers disclosed that a comment credited to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on a loan for the country’s railway, is an attempt to incite the public against the upper legislative chamber.
It was reported that on Monday, Amaechi said the $7.5 billion loan which the federal government had secured for a standard rail gauge from Lagos to Kano was part of the $30 billion loan before the national assembly for approval, and urged the people to join the government in appealing to the senate to approve the loan.
In the statement, Sabi said the comment was “false, misrepresenting and contradictory to available facts”, adding that it also showed that the minister was not in tune with the position of the government he is serving. The senate spokesman advised Amaechi to withdraw the statement.
“Furthermore, the national assembly will take up the matter with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo,” Sabi said. “As of today, the only request for approval from the executive for loan was the one dated January 27, 2017 and signed by acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo seeking a ‘resolution of the national assembly for the issuance of USD 1 Billion EuroBond In the international capital market for the funding of the 2016 budget deficit’ and we immediately granted the approval.
“Also, in the letter quoted above, the government mentioned the two rail lines cited by the minister as part of the projects for which the EuroBond will be utilised. So, we cannot understand what the grouse of Mr. Amaechi is.
“As a former speaker of a state house of assembly, we believe that a minister like Amaechi should always check his facts and refrain from making unguarded and inciting remarks against the legislature.
“What Nigeria needs at this point is for all arms of government to work together and create the synergy necessary to take Nigeria out of the present economic crisis we have found ourselves.
“Comments designed to infuriate one arm of government or incite the people against another arm of the government will do no one any good and we do not expect such statements from a minister in the present government.”