Senate Approves Buhari’s $16bn, €1bn Loan Request, $125m Grant

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Senate Approves Buhari’s $16bn, €1bn Loan Request, $125m Grant

THE Senate on Wednesday approved the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow $16,230,077,718; €1,020,000,000 and a grant component of $125,000,000 under the 2018-2020 external borrowing (rolling) plan. 

The approval followed the consideration and approval of the report of its committee on local and foreign debt. 

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The loans were, however, approved without the terms and conditions as the Senate urged President Buhari to forward the terms of the loan to the Upper Chamber. 

President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a letter read on the floor of the Senate on September 15, 2021, requested the lawmakers to approve the loans. 

The loans are to be sourced from the World Bank, China EXIM Bank, Industrial & 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 loans, Buhari said, were to finance critical infrastructural projects across the country.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, said his panel found out that out of a sum of over $22.8 billion earlier approved for borrowing by the National Assembly under the 2016- 2018 External Borrowing Rolling Plan, only $2.8 billion, that is, 10 per cent, has been disbursed to Nigeria. 

“The committee, therefore, notes that the pressure placed on the human and financial resources of the National Assembly to approve 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 improvement in security architecture,” he said. 

Ordia, therefore, recommended that the Senate approve the “ongoing negotiation of external borrowing in the sum of $16,230,077,718; €1,020,000,000 and a grant component of $125,000,000 under the 2018-2020 external borrowing (rolling) plan.”

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