Nigeria: Buhari Seeks Approval of Loan Rejected By 8th Senate

Premium Times has been doing several stories on projects undertaken by governors, funded by the national government but which have either been abandoned or not started.

28 November 2019

The external loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari which was rejected by the eighth Senate has been resubmitted to the 9th Senate for consideration.

The borrowing plan previously submitted by the President proposed $30 billion external loan to execute 2016 to 2018 projects across the country.

The request was unanimously rejected by the Senators under the leadership of the former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.

President Buhari's loan message was transmitted in a letter which was read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at Thursday's plenary.

However, Buhari did not revealed the amount to be borrowed in the latest letter but stressed that the fund will be used to execute projects, especially on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation across the country.

In the letter, President Buhari noted that while he transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the eighth National Assembly in September 2016, the plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature.

"Only the federal government's emergency projects for the North East's four states projects and one China Exim assistant railway modernisation projects for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of the total of 39 projects," he said.

"Outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government's policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.

"These outstanding budgets are well-advanced in terms of the preparation, consistent with the 2016 debt sustainability analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office and were approved by the federal executive council in August 2016 under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan" he said.

The president also in the letter said he directed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to make herself available to the Senate to provide any additional information or clarification they require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.

According to the letter, the request is pursuant to Sections 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office Establishment Act.

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