The Senate on Wednesday directed eight ministries, departments and agencies of government to appear before its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who gave the directive at plenary said the representatives of the eight affected agencies must make themselves available within a window of two-weeks.
Lawan said the agencies are expected to defend the $29.96bn loan request of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) presently being considered by the National Assembly.
The call on the agencies to appear before the panel was a sequel to a point of order raised on the floor by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia.
Coming under Order 43 of the senate rules, Ordia lamented the failure of relevant ministries and agencies of government to appear before the committee
He said their failure to appear and defend the proposed allocation of monies for projects under their supervision and captured in the $29.96bn loan request was hindering the activities of his panel.
The ministries, departments and agencies of government yet to appear before the Senate Committee, according to the lawmaker, include The Federal Ministries of Education, Power, Niger Delta Development Commission, and Water Resources.
Others are Ministries of Communication and Digital Economy, Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Agriculture.
Lawan urged the relevant MDAs to appear before the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to provide the necessary information required by the Senate.
He said they must do so that the Senate could reach a decision on President Buhari’s loan request before the National Assembly.
He said, “Because you have come under order 43 on personal explanation, this is not open to debate.
“Let me advise that this Senate is committed to ensuring that such an important issue like the foreign loan request of the executive needs to be taken with seriousness by both sides (the Executive and Legislature).
“The Senate is making every possible effort that we understand why the request, therefore, we need details, we need information so that we take the appropriate decision as quickly as possible.
“I will ask these agencies that have not appeared before the Committee to do so between now and Monday. So, I believe this is advice would be taken very seriously by these agencies.”
Ordia, however, pleaded for an extension of the window period to two weeks, a request which was approved by the Senate President.