Nigerians, PDP Kick Against Senate's Approval of $22.7bn Foreign Loan

Nigerian Senate (file photo).

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the Senate for approving President Muhammadu Buhari's request for a fresh $22.7 billion loan.

PREMIUM TIMES, on Thursday, reported how the lawmakers approved the external loan requested, amidst some controversies.

The approval was a sequel to the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.

The chairman of the committee, Clifford Ordia, a lawmaker from Edo State, read the report and recommended that the Senate approve the request.

Prior to the approval, there were arguments between lawmakers and the Senate President that lasted for over half an hour, this paper also reported.

The federal government had earlier said the N22.7 billion loan would be used for infrastructure development.

In his recent letter, Mr Buhari explained that the external borrowing plan targets projects cuts across all sectors with special emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation.

It should be noted that President Buhari sent the same request to the eighth Senate under Bukola Saraki in 2016. The president requested for about $30 billion but the then lawmakers turned down the request as the majority voted against it when it was brought for consideration.

The approved loan will be funded by World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JlCA), German Development Bank (KFW), China Exim Bank and French Development Agency.

Opposition

Meanwhile, the opposition party accused the APC senators of approving the loan, which according to them, had been rejected by Nigerians across the board.

This was contained in a statement signed by Kola Ologbodiyan, the party's national publicity secretary.

"The party said in approving more financial burden on our nation, the APC senators have further shown that their party does not have the interest of Nigerians at heart, but is only out to repress and plunge our citizens into more hardship just for their selfish gains,"

The PDP said it is distressing that the APC senators approved the loan, even when the Buhari Presidency have not justified the request.

"@The fact that the $22.7 billion loan request brimmed with unexplained, obscure, over-bloated and questionable subheads, such as the scandalous $500 million dollars (N180 billion) smuggled in under the guise of upgrading the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), shows that the APC and a cabal in the Presidency are in a huge financial racket, for which they are ready to plunge Nigerians into more suffering."

"In approving the loan, even after it was clear that Nigerians are averse to it, the APC senators have confirmed that they are in league with other APC leaders to fleece our nation and bring more hardship to Nigerians."

"The party notes as disheartening that under the Buhari Presidency our foreign debt has continued to accumulate with nothing to show other than excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure, a worsening governance system, escalated insecurity and unprecedented poverty," the statement read in parts.

The opposition party kept mum on the fact that some of its senators including Mr Ordia supported the approval of the loan.

Nigerians react

Several Nigerians have also decried the borrowing culture of President Buhari-led administration and its fiscal burden on the country.

Paul Alaje, a senior economist, in a two-part analysis, suggested how the Nigerian government can fund infrastructure and growth without going deeper into debt.

In his view "domestic debt accumulation discourages private investment level in Nigeria through increased lending rate, inflation rate and scare resources in the financial market which further has a significant impact on the rate of employment and the economic activities of the country."

Jide Ojo, a development expert also stated that "It thus does not make economic sense to just borrow when you can actually block leakages and have sufficient funds to run the economy."

On social media, some Nigerians also expressed their grievances noting the economic effect of the newly approved loan.

Below are some reactions from Twitter

@General_Maze

Technically, they're borrowing money to fight a technically defeated Boko Haram terrorist.

If captured, they borrow another to fund their De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration.

Approval of Buhari's $22.7bn loan request by the Senate is the ultimate.

When will we get angry enough to actually do something about this our depressing situation?

- Ugonna bin trappin (@General_Maze) March 5, 2020

@Ody_johnson

This Buhari's $22.7bn loan, what's it going to be used for exactly?

Will the cash be used in Increasing our 4,500 MW Epileptic National Grid Power Supply figures to the approx. 150,000MW uninterrupted power supply figures.?

Or it's basically going to be used for Trader Money.?

This Buhari's $22.7bn loan, what's it going to be used for exactly?

Will the cash be used in Increasing our 4,500 MW Epileptic National Grid Power Supply figures to the approx. 150,000MW uninterrupted power supply figures.?Or it's basically going to be used for Trader Money.?

- 👑 Obong Ekpe 🐯 (@Ody_johnson) March 5, 2020

@Ekwulu

Senate approves Buhari's $22.7bn loan request

ME:The Lawan led rubber stamp Senate has approved the $22.7billion loan.The APC will be remembered not only for corruption,rigging & insecurity but also for enslaving the entire country.

Senate approves Buhari's $22.7bn loan request

ME:The Lawan led rubber stamp Senate has approved the $22.7billion loan.The APC will be remembered not only for corruption,rigging & insecurity but also for enslaving the entire country.https://t.co/ZtBk5FD9Yc

- chijioke, Ph.D., Nuclear Engineering(Affidavit). (@Ekwulu) March 5, 2020

@Teesleek07

We pray we still have a country before 2023 with the Pace at which this Guys are Borrowing..Soon they would starting placing monthly Levy on the Masses to help pay this loans..Just so unfortunate.

We pray we still have a country before 2023 with the Pace at which this Guys are Borrowing..Soon they would starting placing monthly Levy on the Masses to help pay this loans..Just so unfortunate

- teesleek007 (@Teesleek007) March 5, 2020

@Guciano_Online

Na Buhari's $22.7bn loan, abi?? When this debt finally metamorphose into national slavery, then e no go be "Buhari's" wahala.

Na Buhari's $22.7bn loan, abi?? When this debt finally metamorphose into national slavery, then e no go be "Buhari's" wahala.

- Godson Uzoma Cornelius (@GUCiano_Online) March 5, 2020

@Lyforconsult

This Buhari's $22.7bn loan is something else. Our unborn children and grandchildren already inheriting debts courtesy of this our clueless president and his incompetent government. They will forever be at the wrong side of Nigeria history.

This Buhari's $22.7bn loan is something else. Our unborn children and grandchildren already inheriting debts courtesy of this our clueless president and his incompetent government. They will forever be at the wrong side of Nigeria history.#Buhari

- AJ Alex (@lydorconsult) March 5, 2020

More From: Premium Times

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.