The Senate on Wednesday directed Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi to withdraw his statement that the Upper House refused to approve the $30billion foreign loan by President Muhammadu Buhari a couple of weeks ago.
Amaechi was quoted to have said at a town hall meeting in llorin organised by the federal government for the North Central on Monday that the refusal of the National Assembly to approve the request for foreign loan that would be used as counterpart funding was frustrating the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan and Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna -Kano rail lines.
The Senate in a statement by its Spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said the statement was not only false, misrepresenting and contradictory to available facts but also portrayed the minister as not in tune with the position of the government in which he is serving.
The statement reads in part: “As at today, the only request for approval from the Executive for loan was the one dated January 27, 2017 and signed by Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, seeking a resolution of the National Assembly for the Issuance of USD 1 billion EuroBond in the International Capital Market for the funding of the 2016 Budget Deficit and we immediately granted the approval.
“Also, in the letter quoted above, the government mentioned the two rail lines cited by the minister as part of the projects for which the EuroBond will be utilised. So, we cannot understand what the grouse of Mr. Amaechi is.
“We view that statement based on false and misinformed premise strongly as a mere attempt to incite the people against the National Assembly. The Minister should, therefore, withdraw that statement.
“Furthermore, the National Assembly will take up the matter with the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.”
Continuing Sabi said: “As a former Speaker of a state House of Assembly, we believe that a minister like Amaechi should always check his facts and refrain from making unguarded and inciting remarks against the legislature.