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Buhari renews request for $29.6bn loan

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Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has re-submitted to the Senate request for approval of $29.6billion external loan anchored on the 2016- 2018 external borrowing plan.

President Buhari had in September 2016 during the 8th National Assembly , forwarded the request for approval but was rejected by the Senate on November 1, 2016 for lacking in details and required breakdowns as regards projects the loan was being sought for .

Buhari in a letter read on the floor of the Senate Thursday by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said the renewal of the loan request was because of the rejection of same by the last Senate.

The President stated that an approval of his request would ensure prompt implementation of projects under the borrowing plan with special emphasis on Infrastructure, Agriculture, Health, Education, Water Supply, Growth and Employment Generation, Poverty Reduction through Social Safety Net programmes, Governance and Financial Management Reforms among others.

In re-submitting the request tagged ‘Request for the National Assembly to reconsider and approve the federal government’s 2016-2018 external borrowing plan’, Buhari stated.

“I hereby request the resolution of the Senate to hereby approve the Federal government 2016 – 2018 external borrowing plan as well as relevant projects under this plan.”

“Specifically, the Senate is invited to note that while I had sent the 2016 – 2018 external borrowing plan to the 8th National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature.

“Only the FG emergency project for the Northeast, four states projects and one China EXIM Bank assisted railway modernization project for Lagos – Ibadan segment were approved out of a total of 39 projects”.

The letter further explained that “The outstanding projects that were not approved by the legislature nevertheless, are critical to the delivery of the government policies and programme relating to power, mining roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sector.

“These outstanding projects are well advanced in terms of their preparation, consistent with the 2016 debt sustainability analysis undertaken by the debt management office and we’re approved by the federal executive council in August 2016 under the 2016 – 2018 external borrowing plan.

“Accordingly, I have attached for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan for which legislative approval is currently sought.

“I have also directed the minister of finance to be available to provide any necessary detailed information or clarification which you may require to facilitate on prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”

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