Senate said that it did not approve a fresh loan of N850 billion for President Muhammadu Buhari at the plenary session held on Tuesday.
The upper legislative chamber said the clarification has become very important due to the “widely circulated erroneous report” that the approved loan was a fresh one, which it insisted was “far from the truth.”
Rather, the new chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, explained in a statement in Abuja, that “the resolution passed was an amendment of the earlier resolution as to the source of the initial N850billion loan that had been approved to be part of what should be used to fund the 2020 Appropriation Act.”
Basiru, who represents Osun Central Senatorial District on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, said the Senate approved that the N850billion be sourced from the domestic capital market as against from external sources.
The statement titled: “No Fresh Loan of N850bn Approved by the Senate” reads: “It is very important to make a very important clarification particularly as the widely circulated erroneous report that the Senate approved a fresh loan of N850 billion at the Plenary on Tuesday.
“That is far from the truth. The resolution passed was an amendment of the earlier resolution as to the source of the initial N850bn loan that had been approved to be part of what should be used to fund the 2020 Appropriation Act.
“You will recall that the Senate had actually approved the loan of N850 billion but to be sourced from external sources.
“However, because of the COVID-19 Pandemic and of the challenge in the international oil market with the attendant challenges of raising the approved loan externally, the President requested that the approved loan should rather be raised through the domestic capital market.
“It was the above request as to sourcing the earlier approved external borrowing of N850billion from Domestic Capital Market that was approved by the Senate.”
President Buhari had requested for N850 billion loan to be raised from the domestic capital market instead of the capital international market which got an accelerated approval from the Senate on Tuesday.
According to the number one citizen, the loan would be used to fund projects in the revised 2020 budget.
The request was contained in a presidential memo read at the plenary by the Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who mandated the Committees on Finance and Appropriations to liaise with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to obtain more details on the loan request.
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