Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday referred the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow $4.054 billion, €710 million and $125 million external loans to the Committee on Foreign and Local Debts.
He asked chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, to work on the request and submit its report next Tuesday.
Lawan’s action followed a motion by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, seconded by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
The Senate had received a formal request from the President last week to consider and approve an external loan to fund projects captured under the 2018-2021 borrowing plan.
In the letter, President Buhari said the projects listed in the 2018-2021 Federal Government Borrowing Plan were to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chatered/China Export and Credit in the total sum of $4,054,476,863.00; €710,000,000.00 and grant component of $125,000,000.00.
He said the amount would be used to fund federal and state government projects across key sectors such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and food.
It also include security, energy, education and human capital development and the COVID-19 response efforts.
The letter had read: “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached addendum to the proposed 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan for the consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for same to become effective.
“The Senate President may wish to recall that I earlier transmitted a request on the proposed 2018-2020 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan for the concurrent approval of the Senate in May, 2021.
“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by th Federal Executive Council, as of June 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed Borrowing Plan.
“The Projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chatered/China Export and Credit in the total sum of $4,054,476,863.00; €710,000,000.00 and grant component of $125,000,000.00.
“The Senate is kindly invited to note that the projects and programmes in the Borrowing Plan were selected based on positive, technical and economic evaluations and the contribution they would make to the socio-economic development of the country, including employment generation and poverty reduction as well as protection of the most vulnerable and very poor segments of the Nigerian society.
“The Senate may also wish to note that all the listed projects in the addendum form part of the 2018-2021 External Borrowing Plan and cover both the Federal and States Government projects and are geared towards the realization of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan that cut across key sectors such as Infrastructure, Health, Agriculture and Food Security, Energy, Education and Human Capital Development and COVID-19 Response efforts.
“A summary of some key projects in each of the six geo-political zones and a summary on the expected impacts on the socio-economic development of each of the six geopolitical zones are attached herewith as Annex II and III.
“Given the importance attached to the timely delivery of the projects listed in the proposed Borrowing Plan and the benefits both the federal and state governments stand to gain from the implementation of same, I hereby wish to request for the kind consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan to enable the projects become effective.”