Borrowings: Only 15% of approved loans accessed by FG –Senate sources

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Amid growing concerns over Nigeria’s rising debt, which peaked at N35.465 trillion as at June 30, 2021, there are indications that the Federal Government’s efforts to amass more debt to fund critical infrastructural projects across the country, may have hit a brick wall, sources familiar with the development have told Daily Sun. 

Barely a fortnight ago, President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded a formal request to the Senate to consider and approve another external loan to fund projects captured under the 2018-2021 borrowing plan. The letter dated August 24, 2021, was read at plenary by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.  

Buhari in the letter, explained that the projects listed in the 2018-2021 Federal Government Borrowing Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE) in the total sum of USD4,054,476,863.00; Euro 710,000,000.00 and Grant Component of USD125,000,000.00.  

The request has since been forwarded to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Edo Central Senator, Clifford Ordia. The committee is expected to submit the report this week. 

A source in the Senate who is part of those working to approve fresh loans for government, said the Buhari administration is in a dire situation on how to secure the approved loans by the National Assembly from the leading global leaders. He said out of almost $40 billion so far approved by the National Assembly in over two years, the Federal Government is yet to secure more than 15% of the total sum. The Senator who doesn’t want his name mentioned, said many projects are littered across various states of the federation, and taken over by weed or vandalised by hoodlums.  The lawmaker listed railway, roads, and other infrastructural projects, as parts of facilities affected by the development. He added that the development has forced foreign creditors to develop a cold feet in granting fresh loan requests and expressed fears that successive administrations may default in repaying. 

SOURCE: THE SUN

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