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Nigeria's Senate approves Buhari's $5.5bn foreign loan request

14 November 2017, 06:25 | Silvia Roy

Nigeria's Senate approves Buhari's $5.5bn foreign loan request

Nigeria's Senate approves Buhari's $5.5bn foreign loan request

The Senate Tuesday approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow the sum of $5.5 billion. With the $3bn to be used for refinancing domestic debts, local lenders owed by the federal government may now expect to be paid.

"The Mamblilla hydro power project which has always been abandoned when completed will add substantially to the national grids thus improve power output of the country". He added that the $2.5 billion will create more borrowing space for the private sector.

Mambilla Hydropower Project, ii. construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, iii. counterpart funding for rail projects iv. construction of the Bode-Bonny Road, with a bridge across the Opobo Channel.

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He further maintained that terms and conditions attached to those bonds were favourable to the integrity of the current administration, particularly as it affect the critical infrastructure, the bond was meant to finance. He was however countered by Senator Gbenga Ashafa who argued that the loans were necessary to facilitate development across the country.

"If we consider the projects that these loans are proposed to cover, you will all agree that they are spread across the geo-political zones of Nigeria".

He said, "This Senate will continue to partner with the Federal Government in matters that concern the ordinary people of Nigeria".

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Giving further clarification, Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan noted that part of the bond would be used to offset foreign loans in order to reduce pressure on the nation's foreign reserves.

"For us in the Senate, we have taken our time to look at the necessity and the imperative for approving the loan".

"Times were when the executive could have spent or collected this loan without recourse to the National Assembly".

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