The Senate has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for authorisation to borrow about $30 billion. The president, last Tuesday, forwarded a request to the National Assembly to approve external borrowing plan of $29.960 billion to execute key infrastructural projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.
Image: Muhammadu Buhari
He made the requests in two separate letters to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
Mr. Buhari said the external loan, the biggest in Nigeria’s history, will fund targeted projects cuts across all sectors with special emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation.
Other sectors, he said, included poverty reduction through social safety net programs and governance and financial management reforms, among others.
According to him, the cost of the projects and programs of the borrowing (rolling) plan is $29.960 billion.
This is made up of proposed projects and programs loan of $11.274 billion, special national infrastructure projects $10.686 billion, Euro bonds of $4.5 billion and Federal Government budget support of $3.5 billion.
The Majority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, was quoted on Monday as saying that the House would approve the loan.
But The Senate considered the request on Tuesday and refused to give its approval.
Speaking with Journalists today, in Abuja, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senate, Senator Ita Enang who noted that the Executive was not at war with the upper chambers.
The lawmaker said that the presidency would engage the senate by providing all the needed documents and materials for the approval of the loan.
According to the report from Sahara Reporters, Senator Enang said, “We are not disputing with the distinguished Senate. There are certain information and details which will enable them to consider in detail and appropriately the request of Mr President are contained in the plan. So we are collating that information, the budget office of the federation, the debt management office, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Minister of Finance and the economic team they are collating the information so that they can be submitted to the Senate to enable them take the appropriate decision.
“We would be engaging the Senate. We will not be disputing with them, but we will be engaging with them. When we present a matter before the legislature, it’s for them to consider and as they have considered, more information is needed and that information they are entitled to it and we would provide.”