The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Monday vowed that the House will monitor the implementation of the recent loan Nigerian government obtained from the International Monetary Fund, IMF.
Recall that in April, the Executive Board of the IMF had approved Nigeria’s request for emergency financial assistance of SDR 2,454.5 million (US$ 3.4 billion, 100 percent of quota) under the Rapid Financing Instrument, RFI, to meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a meeting with leaders of some Civil Society Organisations, Mr Gbajabiamila said the disbursement and utilisation of the loan would closely to ensure that it was utilised for the purpose it was obtained.
He said the National Assembly would monitor the disbursement and utilisation of the loan recently received from the IMF by the Federal Government and ensure that it was utilised for the purpose it was obtained.
While disclosing that the second economic stimulus bill being packaged by the House was ready for presentation, the Speaker said that the House would consider any issue relating to COVID-19 as an emergency and would attend to it.
According to him, the stimulus bill, which is awaiting concurrence from the Senate, is meant to give 50 per cent tax rebate to employers of labour who keep their workers throughout the period of COVID- 19.
He said it was commendable that the Executive arm of the government decided to adopt some provisions of the stimulus bill, which they are implementing.
Mr Gbajabiamila said all over the world, economic stimulus is the work of the Legislature because any economic stimulus requires that backing of the law.
“I have made this clear to the Minister of Finance. Currently, the bill is before the Senate and we will continue to engage them to ensure that it is passed into law.
“A second Economic Stimulus bill is in the making already in the House. The second bill will be more far-reaching than the first one.
“The United States of America is considering the fourth stimulus bill. The House is looking at how best to respond to post Covid-19,” the Speaker added.
He said further that the House was reviewing its legislative agenda in line with current realities, noting: “We are reworking our legislative agenda. When we put the agenda in place, we did not envisage the current happenings. We presumed that it would be business as usual.
“Now, we are reworking it and hopefully, it will be ready in the next two weeks and will be launched”.