2019 budget debate: Melaye alleges gloomy economy, puts national debt to over $40 billion

The lawmaker representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, Wednesday alerted the nation during Senate plenary that the country's aggregate debt status was over $40 billion.

He also explained that while foreign debt of the nation records over $23 billion, domestic debt was over $20 billion debt, making a total of over $40 billion debt.

Melaye made these disclosures in his contribution to the legislative overview and debate on the 2019 budget appropriation slated for two days in the parliament.

The fiery lawmaker hinted that there are strong indices for the devaluation of the Naira to dollar someday.

Further, he alleged that the drafters and proponent of the 2019 budget were economical with the economic reality of the country.

Buttressing his points for a gloomy day ahead, Melaye revealed that the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the nation has dropped, saying that even the customs'revenue generation has drastically dropped.

On this premise, he wondered on the practical feasibility of how the 2019 budget could be funded as he claimed that the nation no longer have any foreign reserves.

Also, Melaye disclosed that the federal government was currently working to send a letter seeking approval of $12 billion from the National Assembly to enable it fund the Portharcourt/Maiduguri rail project.

In his words, Mr. President, the economy of this nation is in tatters. There is no more foreign reserve.

"Crude oil price has dropped from $60 to $50 dollars. Besides, the Internally Generated Revenue of the Federal Government has reduced following the drop in the revenue generation of the Nigeria Customs.

" There is no money to again to fund the oil existing oil subsidy. Unemployment is on the rise.

"As we speak Nigeria has $23 billion foreign debt and over $20 billion domestic debt. By May, naira will be N500 per dollar.

" Even the Federal government is now planning to send a letter to the National Assembly seeking approval of another $12 billion to fund the Portharcourt/Maiduguri rail project. Besides, on the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the 2019 presidential election, the stock market has lost over $300 billion".

However, Bala Ibn N'Alla, deputy Senate leader said Nigeria is under borrowing and, that there should be increased funding for Agriculture.

But majority of the lawmakers, in their contributions, acceded to the fact that further borrowing plan may endanger the economy of the nation.

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