41 days after, Senate approves Buhari's $5.5bn foreign loan request

Senate okays $5.5 billion loan for FG

The Nigeria's Senate Tuesday approved a $5.5 billion external loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari.

"That the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on local and Foreign Debts on the issuance of USD2.5 billion to finance the 2017 appropriation Act and USD3.0 billion to refinance domestic debts", Sani submitted.

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.

Buhari explained that the bonds would be channelled towards funding the 2017 budget, while the loan would be used in refinancing maturing domestic debts. "And that the projects, when completed, will create jobs through a chain of economic activities". "The projects will improve the federal government's revenue".

"So we are simply refinancing the payment of the debts". He said the government will also reduce the nation's debt burden when it refinances local debts with funds sourced from foreign financial institutions.

"Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, the loan cover projects that spread across the six geopolitical zones and those projects were critical to Nigerians, so it should be approved", he said.

He said, "This Senate will continue to partner with the Federal Government in matters that concern the ordinary people of Nigeria".

Senate leader Ahmed Lawan said the loan will make a huge difference in the economy, if properly utilised. He added that he was confident that the infrastructure projects to be executed with the sums borrowed would have a major impact on the economy.

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