Senator Ike Ekweremadu, representing Enugu West district at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, on Friday lamented the borrowing plans of the Federal Government, stressing that the way Nigeria was going; especially borrowing from China, could spell doom for the country, adding that China does not forgive debt.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu warned that China may end up taking over Nigerian assets as it did in Sri-Lanka and Zimbabwe.
The senator, who also called for the withdrawal of the Executive Order N0. 10 recently issued by President Muhammadu Buhari to enforce the implementation of financial autonomy for the state judiciary and legislature in Nigeria, said financial autonomy for the state judiciary and Houses of Assembly already exists in the constitution and that the executive order now added extraneous items including directing states on how to spend their money.
Ekweremadu, who described the order as “unnecessary”, also reassured Nigerians that the controversial Infectious Diseases Bill at both the Senate and House of Representatives would not be passed.
The former three-time Deputy Senate President, who spoke in Enugu during a live radio programme of Dream FM Enugu, known as ‘Political Voices’, reiterated his advocacy for establishment of state police in Nigeria in order to stem the worsening security challenges facing the nation. He also suggested that if the governors fail to remit this money to the state Assemblies then the Federal Government can direct that these funds will be transferred straight from the federation account to the state Assemblies.
He said: “I think there have been a lot of misconceptions regarding that Executive Order, in the first place it was quite unnecessary. “We in the Eighth Assembly passed a constitutional amendment; part of it regards the issue of the independence of the legislature and judiciary at the state level and we believe that, rightly so, they should be on the first line charge in the consolidated revenue fund of the various states. So when we passed the legislation, the president dutifully signed them into law and they are self executing. “…
So, that’s why I said it’s Executive order) a mutilation of what we have passed and a mutilation of the constitution. So, I think that the governors need to approach Mr. President and point those mistakes so that he can withdraw the executive order.” On the vexatious Infectious Diseases Bill, Ekweremadu said, “let me use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that the Bill as presently presented will likely not be passed by the National Assembly.
Now looking at that bill which is intended to deal with dangerous or other infectious diseases, it appears to me the bill itself the infectious disease itself.” He said the bill vested so much power on the Minister and the Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control at the detriment of the jurisdiction of the courts and by so doing undermined the fundamental rights of citizens. Ekweremadu said there are many issues that may encumber the proposed community policing policy of the federal government insisting that in terms of what will work, Nigeria needs a state police.
The lawmaker who said he had developed elaborate document on state police said no federally run country anywhere in the world have one central police, “and as long as we have that, security will continue to worsen in the country”. On borrowing, he said: “If you look at the fiscal policy of the government I think we have some issues, especially relating to the borrowing plans, we have over borrowed, this administration has borrowed more than any other administration in Nigerian history. And it’s not just borrowing but the source of those borrowing is also very worrisome.”
While throwing his weight behind the quest for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023, for the sake of “social justice and equity”, the senator declined to give a direct answer regarding his political future and 2023 elections.”