The Senate on Thursday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for ongoing external loans to the tune of $8,325,526,537 (USD) and €490,000,000 (Euros) under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan.
The approval followed the consideration of a report on the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan by the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, in his presentation, said the Committee noted with utmost importance, the genuine and very serious concerns of Nigerians about the level and sustainability/serviceability of the country’s borrowings in the last Decade.
According to the lawmaker, “our (Nigeria’s) debt service figures constitute a huge drain on our revenue to the extent that it account for over 30 percent of our expenditure in the annual budget.”
He explained that due to the shortfall in the country’s annual revenues in relation to the need for rapid infrastructural and human capital development, “we have had to pass deficit budget every year, requiring us to borrow to finance the deficit in our budget.”
Ordia noted that out of the total borrowing request of $36,837,281,256 contained in the re-forwarded request of Mr. President, a sum of $26,154,536,533 is for funds proposed to be borrowed from various financial institutions from the Peoples Republic of China.
He stressed that the proposed projects in the Ministries’ of Transportation, FCT, Aviation, Works & Housing, Agriculture and Water Resources and some Commissions such as National Universities Commission, North East Development Commission and the National Identity Management Commission are mostly ongoing projects and programmes in respect of which External Borrowed funds have been spent in the past, including loans.
“These projects have a great multiplier effect on stimulating economic growth through infrastructure Development, Job creation and Poverty alleviation, stimulation of Commercial and Engineering activities and the consequent tax revenues payable to Government as a result of these productive activities” Ordia explained.
The funding agencies are: World Bank – $796,000,000; China Exim Bank – $2,901,026,509; Industrial Commercial Bank of China – $2,484,555,304; African Development Bank – $104,200,000; Africa Growing Together Fund – $20,000,000; French Development Agency – €240,000,000; European Investment Bank – €250,000,000; European ECA/KfW/IPEX/AFC – $1,959,744,724; and International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) – $60,000,000.
APC PCC commends CBN, Buhari for extension of naira swap deadline
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for extending the naira notes swap deadline.
Buhari on Sunday approved a 10-day extension for Nigerians to swap their old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes for the new ones.
Emefiele announced this after a meeting with the President in his Daura country home.
The extension followed complaints by Nigerians who experienced difficulties getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from banks.
The APC PCC, in a statement by its Director, Media & Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, praised the move.
It said: “We want to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria and Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for listening to the voice of well-meaning Nigerians on the exigency of extending the deadline for change of old N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes to the new ones.
‘Following difficulties experienced by Nigerians from across the country from getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from Banks, many Nigerians especially requested an extension of the 31 January 2023 deadline.
“We welcome the 10-day extension of the deadline and the additional seven days of grace.
“This window will enable Nigerians especially those in rural and remote areas to have more time to change their old notes and avert the panic that would have followed.”
It said the President deserved “special commendation” for approving the extension “and for his leadership and statesmanship.”
The APC PCC added: “In the same vein, we praise our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his forthrightness in addressing the concerns of Nigerians at his campaign rally in Abeokuta last week.
“Asiwaju Tinubu didn’t take the easy road by shying away from what would have caused serious inconvenience for our teeming masses.
“Asiwaju showed leadership and compassion for the welfare of Nigerians, at the most appropriate time.”
ASSBIFI commends extension of validity of old Naira notes
The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) on Sunday in Lagos endorsed the extension of the validity of old naira notes from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10.
Its president, Mr Olusoji Oluwole, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN decision to extend the deadline was a step in the right direction.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in a statement on Sunday said the CBN added a 10-day extension of the deadline of Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, to allow for the collection of more old notes.
He also noted that Nigerians would still have grace period to deposit their old notes directly with the CBN until Feb. 17.
“It is a step in the right direction, especially in providing more time for the return of old notes after the actual date of invalidation.
“CBN, however, needs to proactively monitor and address sufficient availability and distribution of the new notes.
“It should also increase sensitisation of, and probably incentivising the general public on the cashless policy to reduce the pressure on cash,’’ Oluwole said.
Banks have been contending with increased number of customers rushing to beat the Jan. 31 deadline given by CBN for the return of old naira notes which would cease to be legal tender.
New N200, N500 and N1,000 notes became legal tender on Dec. 15, 2022 after they were unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Nov. 23, 2022.
Many bank customers, however, complained that the new notes were not readily available and have yet to circulate adequately four days to the expiration of the old notes.
New Naira Notes: CBN Extends Deadline Till February 10
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the use of the old notes till February 10.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the extension in a statement signed on Sunday.
He explained that the apex bank has sought approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the deadline for the use of the old notes by 10 days.
“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31 to February 10 to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians,” the statement read.
“A 7-day grace period, beginning from February 10 to February 17, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender Status.”
The CBN Governor also solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians in ensuring a hitch-free process for the implementation of the policy.
Before the apex bank extended the use of the naira note, many Nigerians experienced difficulty in lodging their old banknotes.
The scramble by many Nigerians to meet the initial January 31 deadline has been chaotic as many of them flood banking halls with huge cash in old notes to exchange them with new ones.
Others are seen in long queues at the few ATM points having the new naira notes in different parts of the country to have access.
The naira redesign was greeted by criticism by some Nigerians, including the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the policy was intended to scuttle his presidential ambition.
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