By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
“On July 7, 2021, the Senate had approved a loan request of N2.343 trillion, approximately $6 billion and another $8.3 billion and €490 million”
President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the approval of the National Assembly for another external loans of $4 billion and €710 million, pushing Nigeria’s debt to over N35 trillion.
The loans, according to Buhari, will be used to fund ” some critical infrastructural projects” in different sectors.
Persecondnews recalls that the Debt Management Office (DMO) has put Nigeria’s Public Debt Stock at N33. 107 trillion (about 87.239 billion dollars), as at March 31, 2021.
On July 7, 2021, the Senate had approved a loan request of N2.343 trillion, approximately $6 billion and another $8.3 billion and €490 million
The DMO gives reports on Nigeria’s debt every three months.
Its website shows that at the end of March 2015, about two months before Buhari took office on May 29, Nigeria owed N12 trillion.
In a letter addressed to both chambers of the National Assembly, and read on the floor at the resumption of plenary by the presiding officers on Tuesday, President Buhari is also seeking their approval for grant components of $125 million in the 2018-2020 external rolling borrowing plan.
According to the President, the proposed loan is to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD.
The letter reads in part: “I write on the above subject and submit the attached addendum to the proposed 2018-2020 external rolling borrowing plan, for the consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for the same to become effective.
“The distinguished Senate President may recall that we submitted a request on 2018-2020 borrowing plan for the approval of the Senate in May 2021.
“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as of June 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan.
“The projects listed in the external borrowing plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD in the total sum of $4,054,476,863 and €710 million and grant components of $125 million.”
Persecondnews also recalls that as of March 2021, a report from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the Buhari administration took loans from China, France, Japan, India and Germany, taking the country into a total $33 billion foreign loan amid dwindling revenue and low standard of living generally for Nigerians.
In spite of the huge debt relief secured for Nigeria by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, successive governments have continued on a borrowing spree — the federal government’s component of the public debt surging 658 percent to N26.9 trillion in the last 21 years.
Nigerians have raised concerns on the nation’s debt sustainability amid dwindling revenue to meet the debt obligations to creditors.