New Telegraph

Senate approves Buhari’s loan

…urges President to forward terms and conditions of facility for critical scrutiny

The Senate, yesterday, approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s requests to borrow $16.2 billion, N1 billion and a grant of $125 million under the 2018-2020 external borrowing (rolling) plan. The approval followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, presented by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central). The loans were approved by the Red Chamber without its members having knowledge of the terms and conditions under which the loans would be obtained.

However, the apex legislative Assembly, urged President Buhari to forward the terms and conditions of the loans to it for critical scrutiny. Buhari had, in a letter read in the Senate on September 15, 2021, requested the Red Chamber to approve $4,054,476,863, N710,000,000 and $125,000,000 loans.

The loans are to be sourced from the World Bank, China EXIM Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Development Bank, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), French Development Bank (AFD), European Investment Bank, International Capital Market, and Standard Chartered Bank. The President explained that the loans would be applied in financing critical infrastructural projects across the country.

In his presentation, Ordia said that his Panel found that out of a sum of over $22.8 billion earlier approved borrowing by the National Assembly under the 2016-2018 external bor-rowing rolling plan, only $2.8 billion, that is, 10% had been disbursed to Nigeria. “The Committee therefore notes that the great pressure placed on the human and financial resources of the National Assembly to approved loans under the Medium Term External Borrowing Plans is unnecessary.

“The Committee observes that these projects, some of which requires additional financing, will have a great multiplier effect on stimulating economic growth through infrastructure development, job creation, poverty alleviation, health care and improve our security architecture,” he said. The Committee Chairman said that the Committee, recommended that the Senate approve the ongoing negotiation of external borrowing in the sum of $16,230,077,718; N1,020,000,000 and a Grant component of $125,000,000 under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) plan.

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