This from Punch;
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday forwarded a letter to the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to urgently approve a $1bn external loan for the Federal Government to confront the terrorist Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The letter dated July 15, 2014, was read on the floor of the Senate and that of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, by the Senate President David Mark and Speaker Aminu Tambuwal respectively.
In the letter, Jonathan explained that the external loan was urgently needed to upgrade the equipment, training and logistics of the Armed Forces and security services in order to enable them to confront the insurgents more forcefully.
The letter titled, “Tackling Ongoing Security Challenges: Need for Urgent Action”, read in part, “You are no doubt cognisant of the ongoing and serious security challenges which the nation is facing , as typified by the Boko Haram terrorist threat. This is an issue that we have discussed at various times.
“I would like to bring to your attention the urgent need to upgrade the equipment, training and logistics of our Armed Forces and Security Services to enable them more forcefully to confront this serious threat.
“For this reason, I seek the concurrence of the National Assembly for external borrowing of not more than $1bn, including government to government arrangements for this upgrade.”
The National Assembly had in the N4.6tn 2014 Budget provisions, appropriated N968.127bn for Defence on account of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The request may be considered today (Thursday) on account of its urgency because both chambers of the National Assembly may embark on their annual long recess today till the end of September 2014.