Senate begins consideration of Buhari’s $29.9bn loan request


The Senate has begun the consideration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s request of  2016- 2018  External Borrowing to the tune of $29.96 billion to be spent by the Federal Government to execute key infrastructural projects.



After the Executive Communication read at Plenary by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kebbi North that the Senate do consider the request of the President  C-in- C on the 2016- 2018 External  Borrowing Plan in accordance with Sections 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Est, etc) Act, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan then referred it to Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.



The Committee is Chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo Central.



The Committee was given two weeks to report back at Plenary.



Recall that President  Muhammadu Buhari, had on November 28, written to the Senate, again requesting for the approval of 2016- 2018  External Borrowing to the tune of $30 billion to be spent by the Federal Government to execute key infrastructural projects across the country.



The letter, which was dated November 26, 2019, was read on the floor of the Red Chamber by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary.



In the letter, President Buhari explained  that it became imperative to represent the request because the Eighth National Assembly approved only a part of the External Borrowing request forwarded to it in September 2016.



The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act, I hereby request for Resolutions of the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing plan, as well as relevant projects under this plan.



“Specifically, the Senate is invited to note that: While I had transmitted the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan to the Eighth National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the Legislature, only the Federal Government’s Emergency projects for the North East, (Four (4) States’ projects and one (1) China Exam Bank Assisted Railway Modernisation Projects for Lagos – Ibadan Segment) we’re approved, out of a total of thirty-nine (39) projects.



“The Outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the Legislature are, nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the Government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.



“These outstanding projects are well advanced in terms of their preparation, consistent with the 2016 Debt Sustainability Analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office and were approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2016 under the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing Plan.



“Accordingly, I have attached, for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning the specific outstanding projects under the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing plan for which legislative approval is currently sought.



“I have also directed the Minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.
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