Southeast exclusion from $22.7bn loan: Former Anambra Senator regrets absence in national Assembly

The former member representing Anambra Central in the National Assembly, Senator Victor Umeh has bemoaned the exclusion of Southeast in the 22.7 billion loan requested by President Muhammadu Buhari for various projects across the country.

The Senate had last week, approved $22.7 billion as external borrowing plan, for the country out of the 22.7 billion requested by the Presidency, following the adoption of the report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on the Federal Government’s borrowing plan at the floor of the Senate.

Southeast geo-political zone got zero allocation in the plan.

Reacting to the development, Senator Umeh who represented Anambra Central in the 8th Assembly, said it is unthinkable that only Southeast geo-political zone got zero allocation and the application was granted with ease in the Senate.

“When the 8th Assembly was at the verge of confirming EFCC board members on the 12th of December, 2018 without anybody from southeast and south-south, I vehemently opposed it and got support that forced the Senate into a closed-door session where the confirmation was dropped and the list was returned to the President for correction,” he recalled.

He maintained that the arguing such case as the exclusion of a zone from such benefits at the floor of the Senate does not require majority vote but a vehement insistence on constitutional adherence.

“It is not always true that the parliament uses a number to decide every matter before it. When an issue bothers on breach of equity and fairness and most importantly, on breach of principles of Federal Character enshrined in the constitution, a minority voice with a power of argument can stop the majority,” Umeh averred.

According to him, there is no voting on the loan request by way of calling for division, as people did not vote in support of the loan request.

“I would have insisted on grounds of breach of federal character principle. I would have stood my grounds and the senate would have heard my voice and corrected this injustice. That is what Senators are elected to do- to negotiate better living conditions for their people,” Umeh concluded.

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