By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, yesterday said why the 9th National Assembly cannot afford to fight against the President Muhammadu Buhari led executive is to avoid the setback that will follow such clash, which will not be in the best interest of Nigerians.
Opeyemi, who spoke while addressing journalists Thursday at the APC national secretariat, said any frusty relationship between the executive and the parliament as experienced in the 8th Senate will benefit nobody.
“We are not rubber stamp, what we are not doing is grandstanding because it does not help the growth of any democracy.
“It is not going to take us any inch forward. It is only going to be a highway to nowhere. We have been through this path before and I don’t think anybody benefited from it.
He described the 9th National Assembly as the most misunderstood arm of government, especially since it approved the loan request of the president.
“People accused the parliament for approving loan requests of Mr President, the question again then is, what did we do that people didn’t do in the United States, in the United kingdom, all over Europe and other parts of Africa?
“The essence of the loan was because our income as a nation has fallen to almost its lowest ebb.
“When we planned the 2020 budget, it was predicated on the fact that crude oil will sell at 54 dollars per barrel and because of covid-19, this was not going to happen. It fell to as low as 24 dollars per barrel meaning that we were no longer in a place to fund our budget and the economy was also entering recession.
“Part of what economists will tell you is the need for us to spend our way out of recession and ensure that money continue to percolate, and for government to do that, definitely they have to borrow.
“Could we have said because we don’t want to be labelled a rubber stamp parliament, we would not approve of these loans? No, what is important to us is what are you going to do with these loans?,” Bamidele said.
He reiterated that grandstanding will only result in unnecessary face off with the executive, and this will not help move the country forward, which he said is not what the people voted for.
He added that the reason the National Assembly approved the loan requests of President Mohammadu Buhari was because of the necessity of the loans as occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic which had seriously affected the nation’s income and capability to fund the budget.