House extends 2022 capital, supplementary budget to June 30
Approves CDB as new railway project financier
The House of Representatives, yesterday, extended the implementation of the capital aspect of the 2022 budget and the supplementary appropriation for the last financial year.
This follows the passage of a bill for an act to extend the implementation of the capital aspect of the 2022 Appropriation Act and Supplementary Budget from March 31 to June 30.
The bill received accelerated hearing as it passed through first and second readings and also referred to the Committee of Supply, where it was approved and finally passed through third reading and transmitted to Senate for concurrence.
The House had, in December, passed a bill for an Act to Amend the Appropriation Act, 2022, to extend the implementation of the capital aspect from December 31, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
It also approved the N819.54 billion supplementary budget sent by President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari had, in a letter to the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the request was meant for the capital expenditure component of the 2022 budget and would be financed through new domestic borrowings.
The House also approved the change of financier for the Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Kaduna–Kano segment) from China Exim Bank to China Development Bank.
It approved relevant conditions provided in the harmonised term sheet, which includes that the loan will be commercial, maturity of 15 years, 2.7 per cent interest, 0.4 per cent commitment fee and 0.5 per cent upfront fee.
The approvals followed the adoption of a motion on: ‘Rescission of the 2016-2018 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan’ moved by Hassan Fulata (APC, Jigawa) at plenary yesterday.
The lawmaker recalled that the National Assembly approved the sum of $22.79 billion, under the 2016-2018 Medium Term External Borrowing (Rolling) plan.
He said there were communications from the Federal Ministry of Finance requesting approval of modifications to the financing proposal for the Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Kaduna-Kano segment) occasioned by COVID-19 whereof China Exim Bank withdrew its support to finance the project.
“To secure funds for the project, the contractor (CCECC Nigeria Limited), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, engaged China Development Bank (CDB) as the new financier in the sum of $973,474,971.38.”
But Ossai Nicholas Ossai faulted the motion, insisting that the lawmakers should be given copies of the new agreement before the loan could be approved. Gbajabiamila ruled that chairmen of Aids and Loans and Land Transport Committees should work with him to address the concerns raised.