Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Gbajabiamila writes a letter to Chinese president

The leader of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, showed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for signing a $6bn investment package with the Chinese government during his visit to the country.

He pointed out that the president got the mandate from Nigerians who “overwhelmingly” elected him and gave the power to govern the country. 

The Punch reveals that Gbajabiamila expressed his opinion in a letter written to the Chinese president, Xi Jingping, on Monday, April 18.

The letter was a response to an earlier letter the Governor Ayodele Fayose wrote Jingping, in which he strongly criticized Buhari’s trip and asked the Chinese government not to grand $2bn loan to Nigeria. 

Gbajabiamila noted that Ekiti state governor had no authority to speak on behalf of Nigeria and advised the Chinese president to ignore Fayose and his letter.

“I am sure the letter written to you by the governor will probably receive little (if any) attention from your high office, assuming it even gets to you. 

“Mr. President, Nigeria as you well know is not a project as erroneously described by the governor, but a nation like all others in the comity of nations. 

“It is also a federal republic operating under the principles of administrative and fiscal federalism.

” “The duties and responsibilities of a governor are clearly spelt out in the Nigerian Constitution and they do not include negotiating loans on behalf of the country nor do they extend to foreign affairs or economic diplomacy,” the House leader wrote. 

Fayose also claimed that Buhari had not briefed the National Assembly before engaging in international deals on behalf of Nigeria. However, Gbajabiamila revealed that the president notified the legislature in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework that he would resort to borrowing to fund Nigeria’s three-budgeting plan. 

“Mr. President, perhaps our governor is not fully seized on the way budgeting works at the federal level. The Federal Government of Nigeria has a three-year budget rolling plan captured under a Medium Term Expenditure Framework. The MTEF 2016-2018 has a borrowing component in which the legislature approved for the president to incur both domestic and foreign loans for the purposes of infrastructural development and deficit financing.

“This MTEF was passed unanimously, by the National Assembly including the six House members and three senators from Ekiti, the governor’s state. “I am therefore dismayed as are many members of the National Assembly that the governor would claim that the loan sought from your government did not have parliamentary imprimatur. 

“It is also a fallacy that the country’s debt is being financed with 25% of the federal government’s annual budget as there is something in economic and legislative borrowing parlance called nominal debt service where a portion of borrowed monies in this case about N1.3tn stays within the country’s financial system. Such are the intricacies of national debts, aids and loans,” he wrote. 

The Nation reports Gbajabiamila described Fayose as a meddlesome interloper because he “overreaches himself and acts outside his constitutional mandate”. 

“Finally Mr. President, yes we are a democratic nation and yes citizens do have a right to freedom of expression (though not absolute), however this letter to you by an opposition governor is a new low in opposition politics.” 

“What the state governor has done amounts to attempted economic sabotage and subversion. I ask, therefore, that you excuse the vituperations and exuberance of the governor as just that,” he wrote. 

Meanwhile, Segun Oni, the former governor of Ekiti state, said that his successor needs to be spiritually delivered from emotional bondage. 

According to Oni, “Governor Fayose was in his characteristic state of hallucination when he wrote the letter and claimed, while reveling in his world of ecstatic fantasy, to be voicing the opinion of Nigerians”.

Source- Punch (Nigeria)

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