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Buhari seeks fresh Senate approval for external borrowing plan rejected by 8th NASS

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Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the approval of the Senate for the Federal Government’s 2016 and 2018 borrowing plan.

Senate president Ahmed Lawan read the letter of request from Buhari during Thursday’s plenary session.

Buhari had first sought the approval of the House of Representatives for the borrowing plan in October 2016. It was however turned down by the Senate.

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In the letter read by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, Buhari said his demand was to ensure prompt implementation of infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation, poverty reduction through social safety net programmes, governance and financial management reforms projects.

Buhari explained that the total cost of the projects is $29.960billion, with a Projects and Programme loan of $11.274billion, Special National Infrastructure Projects of $10.686 billion, Euro Bonds of $4.5billion and Federal Government Budget Support of $3.5billion.

The president disclosed that the projects and programmes were selected after positive technical-economic evaluation and presumed contribution to the socio-economic development of the country. The projects, Buhari said will be implemented across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Buhari stated that it was necessary to resort to external borrowing to fund the financial gap required to address the huge infrastructural deficit in the country such as power, railway, road projects and assured lawmakers of its resolve to implement the projects in a financially sustainable manner.

The 8th Senate under the leadership of Bukola Saraki in November 2016 rejected the proposal of the borrowing plan.

The former Senate president said further borrowing will plunge the country into more debts.


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