The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for Senate’s approval to borrow $4.054 billion, €710m and $125 million external loans to the Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts for further legislative action.
Lawan, during the plenary session on Tuesday, directed the committee which is headed by Senator Clifford Ordia, to work on the request by the president and report back to the Senate by next week Tuesday, according to ThisDay.
The action is coming at a time numerous critics have expressed concerns over the country’s mounting national debt which is estimated to be over N33 trillion.
The Senate President’s action follows motion to that effect which was moved by the senate leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, and seconded by the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
The loan requests by the president were the second time in 2021, that President Buhari would be asking the upper legislative chamber for approval of external loan to fund critical projects across the country.
What you should know
Recall that the upper legislative chamber upon resumption from its 2-month annual recess last week received a formal request from President Buhari to consider and approve an external loan to fund projects captured under the 2018-2021 borrowing plan.
The President in the letter explained that the projects listed in the 2018-2021 Federal Government Borrowing Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans sourced from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chatered/China Export and Credit in the total sum of $4,054,476,863.00; €710,000,000.00 and grant component of $125,000,000.00.
He explained that the amount would be used to fund federal and state projects cut across key sectors such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and food security, energy, education and human capital development and COVID-19 Response efforts
Buhari’s recent loan request comes barely 2 months after the National Assembly approved his earlier request to borrow $8.3 billion and €490 million loans contained in the initial 2018-2020 borrowing plan.