Senate okays Buhari’s $6.1b external loan request

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The Senate yesterday approved a loan request of $6.1 billion by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The money, which is about N2.343 trillion, was approved following the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts at plenary. Chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, presented the report.

Buhari had, in May, asked the National Assembly to consider and approve the loan.

The loan, he said, would be raised from multilateral and bilateral lenders as well as the international capital market.

He also said the National Assembly had already approved the borrowing of N4.6 trillion in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that the new borrowing of N2.3 trillion would part-finance the deficit in the 2021 budget.

In his presentation, Senator Ordia said the request was not new as it had already been approved in the borrowing plan when the National Assembly passed the 2021 Appropriation Bill.

“What we are about to pass is not a new borrowing, it has been approved in the 2021 budget,” he said.

After the approval, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the National Assembly must ensure that there were no frivolous expenditures by the executive.

“Let me thank the committee. This is not a new loan. This is a borrowing plan we have approved. What we have done is to provide the necessary resolutions for the implementation of it.

“Every cent counts. Our committees must be alive to oversee it. No frivolous expenditures should be entertained,” Lawan said.

Nigeria’s 2021 budget already has a deficit of N5.6 trillion.

The President had said the loan would be used to fund “projects from priority sectors of the economy namely: power, transportation, agriculture and rural development, education, health, provision of counterpart funding for multilateral and bilateral projects, defence and water resources”.

SOURCE: THE NATION

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