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Senate approves Tinubu’s request of $500m loan for BPE

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The Senate has approved President Bola Tinubu’s $500 million loan request to finance the federal government’s mass metering program.

According to Persecondnews, the $500 million loan is part of the $7.94 billion and €100 million loans that the Nigerian leader requested permission from the National Assembly to obtain last November.

Mr. Haruna Manu, the senator representing Taraba Central Senatorial District, who presented the committee’s report, explained that the newly approved $500 million ought to have been approved earlier, but it was delayed because the officials of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) did not appear before the committee to defend the request.

The Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin, who presided over the plenary, announced the approval after a majority of the lawmakers supported it through a voice vote.

The whole committee considered and approved the loan.

Presenting the report of the committee, Manu stated: “The Senate do approve the sum of $500,000,000 (five hundred million United States dollars) in the ongoing negotiation of external borrowing for the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).

The $500 million loan is part of the $7.94 billion loan that President Bola Tinubu sought the Senate’s approval for on November 1, 2023, under the 2022–2024 external borrowing plan.

The president also sought approval for €100 million.

‘’ However, the Senate gave its approval to borrow $7.4 billion during its special plenary on December 30 after considering the report of the Committee on local and foreign debt.

Manu reiterated that the terms and conditions under which the loan was granted would not in any way compromise Nigeria’s economic growth or sustainability or hinder Nigeria’s integrity and independence as a sovereign nation.

He stated further: “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will recall that at the plenary on November 1, 2023, a communication from Mr. President requesting the approval of the Federal Government 2022–2024 external borrowing plan was read.

“The external borrowing (rolling) plan contains a request for approval of $7,944,508,559.00 and Euro 100,000,000 as a grant component.

“The communication and the attached schedule were referred to the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt for further legislative action.

“A report (No. 1) of this Committee recommending the approval of $7,444,508,559.00 and £100,000,000.00 out of the proposed total facility of $7,944,508,559.00 was laid before the Senate and was considered on December 30, 2023.

“The committee deferred consideration on the proposed project and amount for the Bureau of Public Enterprises due to the agency’s failure to appear before the committee to defend the proposed project for their agency as captured in the external borrowing plan.

“Following the resumption of the committee’s consideration of the outstanding request and after legislative interactions, deliberations, and due diligence, the committee hereby submits its report and seeks the approval of the recommendation therein.

“The request of Mr. President is in compliance with the provisions of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act 2003 (DMO) and the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 (FRA), which both enjoin the President to seek and obtain the approval of the National Assembly in respect and also obligate the National Assembly to decide on the request by a resolution.’’

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