UPDATED: Senate approves Buhari’s $5.5 billion loan request

Nigerian Senate Chambers
Nigerian Senate Chambers used to illustrate the story.

The Senate on Tuesday approved a $5.5 billion external loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president had in a letter on Tuesday October 10 sought the Senate’s approval for $3 billion external loan and $2.5 billion Eurobond or Diaspora bond in the international market.

Mr. Buhari explained that the bonds would be channelled towards funding of the 2017 budget while the loan would be used in refinancing of maturing domestic debts.

The Committee on Local and Foreign Debts had on October 19 invited the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and some other members of the executive to explain the benefits of the loan.

Presenting the report of the committee Tuesday, Shehu Sani, Kaduna-APC, said the projects for which the loan is requested, will stimulate economic development and create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians while the $2.5 billion bonds will create more borrowing space for the private sector.

He said, “The terms and conditions of the loans are favourable and do not pose any compromise to integrity, independence and interest of Nigerians and its citizens. The projects when completed will create jobs through exchange of downstream economic activities.”

“The construction of the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport will enhance safety of the air passengers, increase the use of the airport by international airlines thus increase the revenue base of the country.

“The rail projects, when completed, will reduce the use of roads, its attendant congestion and thus minimise the cost of road maintenance.

“The Mambilla hydro-power project which had now been abandoned, when completed, will add substantially to the national grid thus improve the power output of the country.

“The $3 billion for refinancing of the nation’s domestic debts will not lead to an increase in the public debt portfolio. However, it will reduce the cost of the debt. The proposed refinancing of the nation’s domestic debts with this relatively cheaper and long term will create a significant decrease in the cost of financing the nation’s debt stock while creating more borrowing space in the domestic market for the private sector from.”

Gbenga Ashafa, Lagos-APC, praised the executive for the choice of projects the loan was requested to finance.

“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.

“Again, if we single them out, they cover power, rail, roads, even building bridges across the various water channels and the issue of the second run way. This Senate is known to be working together for the benefit of all Nigerians. I believe that we should give the opportunity of borrowing these loans to the Federal Government so that we will turn Nigeria to a construction site all over the zones.”

In his comment, the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, lauded the executive and the Senate for their cooperation in approval of the loan.

“For us in the Senate, we have taken our time to look at the necessity and the imperative for approving the loan. The executive has tried also to comply with laws that govern the seeking approval for loans,” he said.

“Times were when the executive could have spent or collected this loan without recourse to the National Assembly. Mr. President, these are infrastructural projects that will have very positive impacts on the economy.”


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  • Gary

    Most of which will find its way to maintaining the hordes of aides, junior and senior special assistants, under assistants and NASS salaries and allowances.
    Does anyone still remember the APC singsong about how Jonathan and the PDP were borrowing to pay salaries and the billions they allegedly squandered with nothing to show for it? So how is Buhari and his APC any different now in running up Nigeria’s debt with a bloated and wasteful government with nothing to show for it?

    By the time Buhari leaves office, Nigeria’s Foreign Debt will be back around $40 billion. Just like he set it rolling in his first stint as military dictator in 1985.
    Our children and their children will grapple with a debt burden in a world where oil no longer has much value.

    But no worries, Buhari & Co. running up the debt will be long gone from the world. So like the Epicureans, let’s eat and drink today, for tomorrow we may die.

    • Usher- Join The Revolution

      Bla bla bla

    • dami

      Read the article again, this borrowing is for capital projects and debt refinancing, there’s no mention of using it to pay salaries.

      • marcos avelino

        Jonathan gave Dasuki 2.2 USD Billion to buy the 2015 elections and it was blown away in a few months ! This is more than what had been spent so far in 2017 for capital projects of the whole country !!!

        • Adele Uhuru

          But how much has been swindled from Nigeria by Buhari’s cousins and nephews in high offices thus far? Baru NNPC + Abba Kyari MTN = 29 Billion USD , now lets ignore the little Grass cutter swindle since it is in 400+ million Naira- Now this is just in 24 months or so- laughable administration of thieving relatives of Northern origin……But if memory serves me right this also happened with PTF fund where 2 Billion USD went missing with Buhari claiming ignorant of what happened then ?

      • Gary

        And GEJ borrowed his to pay salaries? You see how you regime apologists apply double standards when it suits you. Jonathan had to borrow to finance the self-inflicted Jihad of Boko Haram. They rehabilitated the roads, railways and underwriting of the power sector. They built Almajiri schools and new federal universities.
        That’s where most of the money went. But as you Buhari propagandists put it, nothing was done and all the money was stolen by GEJ, Dasuki and Diezani. And even when it suits you, you throw in Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as well as frittering away the country’s money.

        Now the rubber meets the road as we watch Buhari borrow and move funds around to maintain a bloated government and you tell us its all for capital projects. Tell that to the birds.
        If there was enough money, the government would nit only be funding less than 70 percent of its budget for two successive years. Nor devoting a substantial percentage of federal revenues to debt-servicing. Don’t take my word, go check the figures with the DMO, Budgit or other independent monitoring agencies.

        So borrowing cannot be bad under Jonathan but now a good thing under Buhari. The latter was voted into office pledging to reduce fraud and waste in government. Instead he has continued and even worsened the practice by adding incompetence and rank nepotism to running a bloated administration. There’s more come now that Buhari wants to run again and tis the season for freebies: more ministerial portfolios, board appointments and behold infrastructure for the South East. All to be funded with borrowed funds.

        And of course, lest we forget, Barawo Baru is sitting tight at NNPC to do for the APC in 2019 what Allison Diezani-Madueke did for the PDP in 2015. Different team, same shit. Nigeria, we hail thee.

        • dami

          Bros, okonjo iweala and sanusi lamido (both part of gej’s cabinet) made the statement that the FG was borrowing to pay salaries – so your long epistle is riddled with what you want to believe and not facts.

          • Adele Uhuru

            You pick one miss and all is riddled with selfish thoughts but riddle me this- who thus far have borrowed more monies GEJ or PMB, who has any realistic infrastructure project GEJ or PMB, who has more of their kin in sensitive potions looting Nigeria blind GEJ or PMB. who appears clueless in their first 2 year in office with little or nothing to show for it but wants to borrow more billions of dollars GEJ or PMB? under whose watch has Dollar appreciated to a staggering unrealistic range all to benefit a fatten the bank account of their family memebers GEJ or PMB ? Final extra point round who has pushed the amalgamated country to the brink of separation with selfish and blind bigoted progression GEJ or PMB; and which on these administration have initiated an innovative corrupt practice via a proxy who is also a family member in a Government high office GEJ or PMB? Now be honest the truth will set you free…………….

  • Message66

    The Nigerian way: national budget for salaries and recurrent expenditure; while loans for capital projects (and some powerful pockets) fact is I don’t mind loan being used for capital projects if the contractors are well vetted, due process and due diligence followed, no favoritism in contract awards, the country gets good value for the money, contractors well monitored; and projects are spread across the country based on equity. A fair Nigeria is good for all, not just for a few.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    With Nigeria lacks of raising enough revenues to meet the implementation of our annual national appropriation to regularly pay salaries of pensioners and civil servants, and develop our critical national infrastructure, the approval of this financial-request would ease the hardship of raising enough funds to run a smooth governance and develop our critical infrastructure.
    @disqus_37tUayk10K:disqus: Try to conduct a thorough examination of every national issue before assuming and posting false-base comment in this forum.Nigeria, were unable to raise enough revenues to meet the require funds to successfully implement our national appropriation, hence president Muhammadu Buhari, request to borrow some foreign loans to be able to meet both recurrent-expenditure and capital-development funds for our critical infrastructure, that is purpose for this request.

    • Epsilon_Delta

      We can’t see what’s been done with the billions borrowed and billions recovered. Why don’t you take a look at our budget’s detailed breakdown… it evokes raw anger!

    • Gary

      Your bad grammar aside (did Lai pick you guys off the street?), I have just addressed your fellow eRat below. Challenge me with facts and figures. How is this government fininsving it’s budget? By borrowing and even borrowing to service debts. Debt servicing is eating up almost 60 percent of national income. That’s a fact. Now refute it. Or just shut up. Moron.

      • Pluti

        No need for insult na, but let me share something with you. the loan will be used to finance the budget and service the budget. Nigeria’s revenue just increased from the non-oil sector and these were what has been asked from past administrations since the first oil boom, now its coming to life. So since it started appreciating last year, there’s hope that money can be made from Nigeria’s revenue to cushion the effect of the debt. Mind you, apart from we Nigerians not trusting PMB enough, if the debt is spent judiciously as they’ve been canvassing, then rail and power can make things cheaper. E.g onion from the north can get to the south at a very cheap cost of transportation, thereby inducing cheap products nationwide… at least that’s a step