THE House of Representatives stood down the consideration of the $22 billion Federal Government loan because of the agitation by the Southeast that the geopolitical zone was left out as beneficiary, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said.
The Speaker spoke on Wednesday when he hosted Leaders of Faith Forum from the Southsouth and Southeast. He however, asked religious leaders to pray for political leaders for better performance.
The Speaker said he had spoken with Finance Minister and the Director-General (DG) of the Budget Office to find a solution.
“You said there is no need for the loan at this time, but that itself is debatable. If the government believes that there’s need for the loan, I think we should support that, because they know as they’re the ones that see what is needed and what is not needed.
“What I think for me is more important is the equity of the law and whether or not we’re able to distribute these things fairly considering the very nature of the structure of our country.
“I know there has been a lot of agitation about Southeast not benefiting from the loan. It is one of the reasons we haven’t considered the loan in the House. I’ve discussed with the Finance Minister and the DG Budget.
“It’s a matter that we’re looking at seriously. I’m hoping that there will be some kind of amicable resolution so that everybody will be carried along. Equity suggests that all zones must be carried along.
“With the quality of members that you have and the generality of the House, we’ll work towards a fair resolution of the issue so that it leads to something that will bring us together and unite us as a country.
“I want to say that please do not forget us in your prayers. We should never cease in prayers. For those of us who are in the eye of the storm in government, we will really love that. Keep us in your prayers.
“We can have continuous engagements. This is the first, but hopefully not the last. I like the fact that you’re involved in issues of politics and governance. From time to time, you need to borrow us your wisdom and knowledge in those areas,” he said.
The Speaker said the House was already addressing the issues of open grazing, insecurity, among others as raised by the clerics, challenging them to come up with alternatives and possible solutions to any issue that they are not at home with.