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How Senate blocked Buhari’s bid to borrow $30 billion – Premium Times

The Senate has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for authorisation to borrow about $30 billion.

The president, last Tuesday, forwarded a request to the National Assembly to approve external borrowing plan of $29.960 billion to execute key infrastructural projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.

He made the requests in two separate letters to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

But when the request came up for consideration at the Senate on Tuesday, Senators rejected the proposal entirely.
Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had asked the Senate to consider the request of the president for the huge loan.

But when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, put the request to a voice vote, senators responded with a resounding “nay”.

The Senators maintained that position when Mr. Saraki put the question the second time.

In his letter last Tuesday, Mr. Buhari said the external loan, the biggest in Nigeria’s history, will fund targeted projects cutting across all sectors with special emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation.

Other sectors, he said, included poverty reduction through social safety net programmes and governance and financial management reforms, among others.

According to him, the cost of the projects and programmes under the borrowing (rolling) plan is $29.960 billion.

This is made up of proposed projects and programmes loan of $11.274 billion, special national infrastructure projects $10.686 billion, Euro bonds of $4.5 billion and Federal Government budget support of $3.5 billion.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party last week urged the National Assembly to reject the loan request.

Similarly, lawyer and rights activist, Femi Falana, urged the lawmakers to reject Mr. Buhari’s request, saying it would mortgage future generations of Nigerians.


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