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Senate Considers Buhari’s N2.34trn loan request

Oluwasina Phillip

The Senate on Tuesday considered President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for another loan of N2.343trn ($6.183bn), bringing the total external borrowing by the government to $35.683bn.

Buhari had two weeks ago urged the Senate to approve N2.3trn ($6.183bn) external borrowing, adding that the loan was to finance the 2021 budget deficit of N5.6trn.

The loans were also part of the $5.5bn and €995m external borrowings President Muhammadu Buhari had, in May 2020, asked the Red Chamber to approve to finance various priority projects of the federal government and to support the state governments facing fiscal challenges.

The list of Buhari’s borrowing also include a $1.5bn and €995 million external borrowing to help mitigate the gap in the 2021 Appropriation Act.

Presenting the new request to plenary, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan gave the committee on Foreign and Local debt 14 days to process the request for a fresh N2.343trn ($6.183bn) for approval.

In 2016, Buhari had forwarded a loan request of over $29bn to Saraki-led Senate.

The request was largely rejected as that Senate approved only $6bn

When President Buhari forwarded the same request to Lawan-led Senate, it was approved despite outcry by senators from the Southeast who protested the exclusion of the geopolitical zone.

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