Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President of Nigeria has taken sides with President Muhammadu Buhari about borrowing to keep the country going.
Mr. Lawan said this to his fellow Senators during Thursday’s plenary after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in a closed-door meeting.
He noted that the country is poor and therefore not buoyant enough to be self-sustaining.
He said, “You can’t, in my view and judgement, tax Nigerians further for you to raise the money for infrastructural development; other countries do that, but we’ve serious situation across the country.
“So, you can’t put taxes on the people. The only option left is for us to borrow responsibly, utilise prudently and economically, and ensure that the projects are self-sustaining; that they can pay back the loan.”
He added, “Our options are really very limited as a country. First, we don’t have the necessary revenue; Nigeria is poor, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves. Nigeria is not rich given the circumstances we live in, given the challenges we have.
“Our resources are so low, our revenues are so low; therefore, the option of not doing anything just to sit (because we’ve no money, we should not go for infrastructure development) is not an option worthy of consideration. You cannot keep the economy stagnant.”
Nigerian Senators earn more than N14m every month. In contrast, the Nation’s minimum wage is N30, 000. The Senate and the Federal Government have severally ignored calls by concerned Nigerians to slash the jumbo pay received by the lawmakers and have also refused to restructure, a move which will drastically cut the excesses the country incurs from paying the lawmakers alone.