Amidst Piling Debt Burden Of Nigeria, Buhari’s Government Wants To Borrow More

Again, the Federal Republic of Nigeria is seeking another parliamentary approval to borrow $29.96 billion in external loans to invest in critical infrastructural development in the country. Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari in a letter already sent to the Senate President on Thursday said the loans would be used to finance key projects in different sectors of the economy.

The letter entitled; “Request for the National Assembly to reconsider and approve the Federal Government’s 2016-2018 external borrowing plan” reads in part: “Pursuant to Sections 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Establishment Etc) Act, I hereby request for resolutions of the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan as well as relevant projects under this plan. Specifically, the Senate is invited to note that (a): While I have transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the eight National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature.

“Only the Federal Government’s emergency projects for the North East’s four states projects and one China Assisted Railway Modernization Projects for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of the total of 39 projects. (b). That outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.

“These outstanding budgets are well-advanced in terms of the preparation, consistent with the 2016 date. “Sustainability analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office were 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 Minister of Finance, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan for which legislative approval is currently being sought. “I have also directed the Minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification, which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”

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