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Senate approves Buhari’s $16.2bn, €1.02bn loan request

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President Muhammad Buhari
President Muhammad Buhari
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The Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s loan request for the sum of $16,230,077,718 (USD) billion, €1,020,000,000 billion (Euros), under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing plan.

Also approved was a grant component of $125 million (USD), and the request to the Bank of Industries for the issuance of €500 million (Euros) but no more than €750 million Eurobond in the International Capital Market.

The chamber’s approval to the loan requests was, however, accompanied by a resolution that the terms and conditions of the loan from the funding agencies, be forwarded to the National Assembly prior to its execution for approval and proper documentation.

The approval followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt on the proposed 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central), in his presentation, said President Buhari’s request was in compliance with the provisions of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act 2003 and the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

According to the lawmaker, the provisions of the statutes enjoins the President to seek and obtain the approval of the National Assembly in respect of the External Borrowing Programme of the Federation and States.

He explained that out of the total amount approved by the National Assembly, the sum of $3,529,300,000 billion would be sourced from the World Bank; $5,078,441,252 billion from China EximBank; $3,902,267,260 billion from Industrial & Commercial Bank of China; $2,893,693,930 billion from China Development Bank; and $698,500,000 billion from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).

In addition, he stated that €345,000,000 million euros is expected to be sourced from the French Development Agency (AFD); €175,000,000 million euros from the European Investment Bank; $190,255,276 million USD from European ECA/KfW/IPEX/AFC; €500,000,000 euros from the International Capital Market; and $62,120,000 USD from Standard Chartered Bank/SINOCURE.

Senator Ordia explained that the Committee in reaching its resolutions, noted the serious concerns of Nigerians about the level and sustainability of the country’s borrowing in the last decade.

Ordia said Nigeria’s debt figures which continue to increase, reached an all-time high of around 95 percent of retained revenue and 35 percent of its annual expenditure.

He expressed concern that the development constitutes a drain on the nation’s economy and limits resources available for national development.

Underscoring the need for a more proactive approach to revenue enhancement, the lawmaker observed that “there are noticeable improvements in our revenues but the growth is not sufficient or rapid enough to catch up with the pace of  development required for our nation.”

He disclosed that out of the sum of over $22.8 billion approved by the National Assembly under the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan, only $2.8 billion – an amount representing ten percent – has been disbursed to Nigeria.

The lawmaker stressed that the projects, which require additional financing, would have great multiplier effect on stimulating economic growth through infrastructure development, job creation, poverty alleviation, healthcare and improve the nation’s security architecture.

He emphasized that tax revenues accruable to Government would increase as a result of the impact of commercial and engineering activities.

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President Tinubu To Address Joint Sitting Of National Assembly Tomorrow

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As part the event to commemorate 25 years of unbroken democracy and Legislature in Nigeria, there will be joint sitting of both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday 29 May, 2024.

This is contained in a statement by clerk to the national Assembly Sani Magaji Tambuwal and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

The statement indicates that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will address the joint sitting on state of the nation and also flag off the National Assembly Library.

Senators and Honourable Members are expected to be seated by 9am.

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Sanusi Reinstated As Emir Of Kano

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Four years after Muhammadu Sanusi II was deposed as the Emir of Kano, Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State has reinstated him to the throne.

“With the full support of the kingmakers, I have approved the reappointment of Malam Sanusi Lamido,” the governor said to cheers at the Art Chamber of the Kano State Government House around 5:16 pm on Thursday.

He announced the decision right after signing the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

The new law replaces the Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019, and dissolves the emirate councils created by Governor Yusuf’s predecessor Abdullahi Ganduje.

It was based on the law that Ganduje split the Kano Emirate into five in December 2019 and deposed the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II on March 9, 2020. The emirates created by the Ganduje administration were Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Gaya, in addition to Kano.

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FG Offers 2-Month Free Ride On Abuja Light Rail

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Nyesom Wike
Nyesom Wike
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The federal government has offered 2-month free ride services to passengers on the Abuja Light rail after its inauguration on Monday.

Nyesom Wike, The FCT Minister, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at a ministerial press briefing on the one year in office of President Bola Tinubu.

He said President Tinubu would inaugurate the rail project on Monday, while it would start commercial services on Tuesday.

“For those who are saying that the rail system had already been commissioned, don’t make a mistake. What was earlier commissioned was the building. What we want to commission on Monday is commercial operations.

“If you are going to the airport, from here to airport is 20 minutes. Seeing is believing. Go on Tuesday. We are going to allow for free rides for two months.

“You know, Mr. President, he can even say extend it to six months just to reduce the pain of our people. That is renewed hope agenda. When you say something, you do it,” Wike said.

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