Nigeria: Senate Approves $1.5bn, €995m Loans for Govt, States

(file photo).
21 April 2021

The senate has given the federal and state governments approval to borrow $1.5 billion and €995 million loans.

The Senate President Ahmad Lawan-led parliament gave the approval at plenary on Wednesday.

The approval was given after the senate considered the report of the Committee on Local and Foreign debts.

The loans were part of the $5.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings President Muhammadu Buhari had, in May 2020, asked the Red Chamber to approve to finance various priority projects of the federal government and to support the state governments facing fiscal challenges.

Senator Clifford Ordia, Chairman of the Committee, had presented the report of his panel.

The loan, according to Ordia, was to finance priority projects of the federal government and projects to support the state governments.

It is to be sourced from multilateral and bilateral institutions, including World Bank, Export-Import Bank of Brazil and Deutsche Bank of Germany.

"The Committee most importantly notes that the indicative terms and conditions under which the loan will be borrowed, there are no unusual or onerous conditions attached and the terms do not in any manner compromise the sustainability of the Nigerian economy or impugn the integrity and independence of Nigeria as a sovereign Nation.

"The Committee finally notes that the Loan is in the immediate best interest of the Nigerian State and its citizens in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that the economy will be positioned for quick recovery and resume growth.

"The Committee notes that while Nigeria's Total Public Debt Stock is on the increase, it is still relatively low vis-d-vis the country's GDP and the increased borrowing requirements is needed to sustain the economic recovery."

Critics of the government have been complaining about the borrowings of the Buhari administration but the Federal Government has defended its action, saying it is meant for the development of the nation.

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