The Rivers State National Assembly Caucus has described the loans being requested by the President, Major General Muhammadu (retd.), as unconstitutional and discriminatory in approach and scope.
They stated this in a statement on Wednesday, titled ,”Rivers NASS caucus kicks against Buhari’s loans, declaring it unconstitutional, discriminatory”
The statement was signed by their caucus leaders, Senator George Sekibo and Kingsley Chinda.
Buhari had written the National Assembly on resumption from its annual recess last week requesting its approval for fresh loans of $4bn and €710m.
The Rivers caucus expressed disappointed with the incessant loans and the manner the projects are indiscriminately distributed among states.
Part of the statement reads, “There’s no equity and fairness in the manner the projects are being distributed, which flagrantly violates the provision of the Constitution.
“The manner and approach so far adopted by the Buhari led Government obviously violates Sections 16(1) and 16(2)
“From all indications, the Buhari government has deliberately deleted Rivers State from Nigeria, as all the loans being requested no single project was attached to Rivers and you do not want the state to collect its hard earned VAT as guaranteed by the Constitution.
“You don’t even need to be a lawyer to know that VAT is not in item 58 and 59 of the second schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“Everybody knows that it is not even in the Concurrent list. Therefore, it falls under the Residual list. It is not arguable.
” That yesterday nothing happened does not mean that today nothing will happen, or tomorrow something will not happen.
“Nigeria should encourage states to be strong enough to have resources to develop their states.
“We are in a Federal system where we are practicing unitary system. Everybody at the end of the month will run to Abuja to share money. Nobody comes back to the State to think, how do I develop my State.”
“It’s appalling and disappointing that the Buhari led Government could be this petty in the distribution of projects without capturing a federating unit for no just reason.
“The Rivers caucus in NASS will not sit on the fence and watch this discriminatory and unconstitutional system of administration of what duly belongs to all Nigerians to a select few.”