Senate Approves Buhari's Request to Borrow $5.5bn to Finance 2017 Budget

Senate okays $5.5 billion loan for FG

Following the report of Senate Committee on local and foreign debts which was presented by its Chairman, Shehu Sani, Senate on Tuesday approved USD5.5 billion bond for the Federal government.

The approval followed the adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts at the plenary on Tuesday.

Buhari had in a letter dated October 4, 2017, asked for the Senate approval over his administration's plan to secure two external borrowings totaling $5.5 billion.

$2.5bn is to be used for financing the 2017 budget while $3bn is to be used for refinancing domestic debts. "And that the projects, when completed, will create jobs through a chain of economic activities".

"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". "

"The projects include the Mambilla hydro-power project, construction of the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, counterpart funding of rail projects and construction of Bonny road with a bridge across Opobo channel."

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It said that the loan will reduce the cost of the debts while the projects are essential for rapid economic and social development of Nigeria. This Senate is known to be working together for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Senate leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan while supporting Ashafa's position also claimed that the federal government had complied with all laws governing external borrowing.

"Times were when the executive could have spent or collected this loan without recourse to the National Assembly".

The government intends to spend money on infrastructure projects to diversify the OPEC member's oil-dependent economy.

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