Senate approves Buhari's $5.5bn foreign loan request

Senate Approves FG's $5.5bn Borrowing Plan

The Senate on Tuesday gave approval for the federal government to secure two external borrowings totalling $5.5 billion and which will allow the government to pay down the equivalent of $3 billion dollars in domestic debt.

Buhari in October had written to the Senate, asking for the approval of an External loan of $5.5 billion to enable the Federal government finance the 2017 budget.

The senate's decision followed the adoption of a report by its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts at the plenary.

"The projects when completed will create job through its chain of downstream economic activities", Sani said.

"So we are simply refinancing the payment of the debts. The projects will improve the federal government's revenue".

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"The $3 billion for refinancing of the nation's domestic debts will not lead to an increase in the public debt portfolio".

"The Mamblilla hydro power project which has always been abandoned when completed will add substantially to the national grids thus improve power output of the country". However, it will reduce the cost of the debt.

Presiding Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu after the passage said the upper chamber will continue to support all efforts by the executive to boost the economy as long as such fiscal instruments are for the betterment of the Nigerian people. This Senate is known to be working together for the benefit of all Nigerians. Analysts say implementation of Buhari's budgets since taking office in 2015 has been lacking, particularly on capital expenditure.

"Again, if we single them out, they cover power, rail, roads, even building bridges across the various water channels and the issue of the second run way". An appropriation act is useless if it is not implemented.

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