President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $22.7 billion has been approved by the Senate.
The loan was requested by the president in order to fund critical infrastructure projects under the 2016–2018 External Borrowing Plan.
Although the process of approval led to an uproar in the upper chamber as some senators kicked against it, other senators supported the approval.
During the debate, Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe cautioned the Senate against considering all the recommendations on the loan at once. According to him, it would be better if the recommendations were done one after the other. However, his motion was countered by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
More details: Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) had also suggested that consideration of the report be postponed to another legislative day. The Senate President did not agree with that, as he explained that such a postponement would be counterproductive as the findings and recommendations of the report would have already been debated in the media before the consideration.
He advised that the report be considered to forestall such eventuality. The Senate later went into an executive session where it was concluded that Buhari’s request should be approved.
Recall that this loan request was previously rejected by the 8th Senate under Bukola Saraki’s leadership. This was due to the fact that there was no detail in the document which held the request.
Last December, Buhari presented the loan request of $29.96 billion again but it was reduced to $22.7 billion, with claims that the 8th National Assembly had already approved about $6 billion out of the money.
Meanwhile, reports have it that the bulk of the loan would come from the Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, the World Bank and banks from China, Japan and Germany.