The House of Representatives has given President Goodluck Jonathan 60 days to implement Section 42 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 which stipulates a debt ceiling for government’s borrowing and foreign debt.
The House on Tuesday, unanimously adopted the motion moved by the Minority leader of the house, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The members however failed to state if there will be any reprimand, if the president does not uphold the warning.
Leading the debate, Honourable Gbajabiamila noted that since the Act came into effect, the president had not complied with the provision of Section 42 of the Act.
“The non-implementation of Section 42 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 is capable of encouraging imprudence and recklessness in government borrowings and improper utilization of borrowed funds to the detriment of our economic growth” he said.
Section 42 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act provides for the president to set overall limits or debt ceilings for the amount of consolidated debt of the federal and state governments, subject to approval of the national assembly.
The lawmakers, supporting the motion said the national assembly must ensure that the Act was obeyed and a ceiling for borrowing is established.
As of December 31, 2011, Nigeria’s external debt which was wiped clean by the Paris club in 2004, stood at US$ 5.7 billion, from US$ 4.5 billion in 2010 and U$ 3.9 billion in 2009, according to the Debt Management Office.
The Paris club cancelled $18 billion debt for the nation in 2004 under the influence of the coordinating Minister of the economy and finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The lawmakers gave Mr. Jonathan 60 days to implement the Act, and announce a debt ceiling.