By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Nigeria Senate on Wednesday finally approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s $16.2 billion and €1.02 billion loan requests.
The upper chamber also approved a grant component of $125,000,000.00 under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) plan for the Federal Government.
This approval is coming barely four months after the Senate approved a loan request of N2.343 trillion approximately $6 billion, another $8.3 billion and €490 million.
The loans are to be funded by the World Bank, China Exim Bank, industrial, and commercial banks as well as African Development Bank (AfDB) among others, Persecondnews.com reports.
The Senate’s approval is sequel to the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts,presented by the Chairman of the Nigeria Senate Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP- Edo Central) during the plenary.
According to Ordia, the projects which the funds will be used for will stimulate a “rebirth of commercial and engineering activities and the consequent tax revenues payable to Government as a result of these productive activities will increase.”
The Chairman of the Nigeria Senate committee said:
“It will be recalled that the Senate at plenary in July 2021 approved financing for projects as recommended by the Committee above, whilst the Committee continued further legislative action and consideration of the outstanding request.
“Subsequently, on the 15th of September 2021, the President of the Senate of the federal republic of Nigeria read another Communication from the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Containing an addendum to the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan in the sum of $4,054,476,863, €710,000,000 and Grant Component of $125,000,000 for various projects and same was also referred to the committee for further legislative action.
“The committee notes that a good number of the projects in respect of which financing is being requested under the 2018-2020 external borrowing (rolling) plan are mostly ongoing projects and programmes in respect of which external borrowed funds have been spent in the past, including loans and grants.
“The committee found as a fact that out of a sum of over $22.8billion approved by the national assembly under the 2016-2018 external borrowing rolling plan, only $2.8billion, that is 10% has been disbursed to Nigeria.
“The committee observes that these projects, some of which require additional financing, will have a great multiplier effect on stimulating economic growth through infrastructure development, job creation, poverty alleviation, health care and improve our security architecture.”