By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Senator Ita Enang, the Presidential Liaison in the Senate has warned that Nigeria might face total government shutdown, if the National Assembly does not reconvene urgently.
It was the second time in 24 hours that Enang would speak on the issue. The National Assembly went on recess on 24 July and will reconvene on 25 September, with the budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Supplementary budget requiring attention.
Enang said the assembly also needed to approve foreign loans for the country, funds from which government planned to bankroll the capital budget of 2018.
Enang reiterating his statement Sunday, said: “We are still appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene; you remember that we passed the budget with the understanding that a great amount of the money will be gotten from foreign loans.
“Although it was approved that there would be a loan, the amount that would be gotten was not approved; the Fiscal Responsibility Act requires that the President should specifically state the amount he wants to get from foreign loans and present it before the National Assembly.
“That letter has been presented before the National Assembly and it has to pass that amount before it could be obtained from the foreign financing institutions.
“This is what we are asking and if does not happen, in the next few months, we have a complete government shutdown because what we are receiving from the Federation Account as Federal Government share — the capital component — is not enough to sustain even 15 per cent to 20 percent of budget.
“So, there may be a complete government shut down and I know Nigerians will not like it; that is why we are appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene,’’ he said.
Enang spoke at the State House on Monday after a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
He had met the Acting President along with Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan.