By Aniekan Udofia
The Member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency, Mr Onofiok Luke has urged his colleagues to ensure accountability as the nation grapples with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the 2020 budget. He stated this while contributing to a debate on ” A Bill for an Act to Amend the Appropriations Act 2020 at plenary on Thursday 28 May 2020”.
According to Mr Luke “while we are doing this, there is a greater concern, the greater concern is not the Appropriation itself, but the channelling of funds appropriated to areas and sectors of the economy that will create employment and that will take into account the new order of things in a post COVID era”
“After this pandemic things are not going to be the same again. Countries are going to be nationalistic in their approach. COVID-19 is a sharp arrow at the heart of globalization and that is causing each and everyone of us to be able to think deeply, think inwardly, come up with solutions, come up with ideas, come up with things that will create an enabling environment for us, because over reliance on others is going to reduce, because countries of the world are now going to look at how they service their people, service their economy before they can think of helping others”
“We must ensure that accountability is brought to the fore and that is why I want to urge my colleagues and urge this house to be alert in its oversight functions” Luke said.
The Lawmaker further cautioned about borrowing to fund part of the 2020 budget. “The sum of over Two Trillion Naira is going to be used for debt servicing. It calls for concern. In this country we have heard about the refund of Abacha’s loot. The refund of other funds, those have to be factored in to be able to reduce the amount that we are going to borrow from the international community or internal borrowing”.