Nigerian senate approves $22.7bn loan plan

10 Mar 20

Nigerian senate has approved a $22.7bn external borrowing plan, set out by president Muhammadu Buhari.

The plan originally requested $22.8bn, with the country's senate approving $22.7bn of Buhari’s proposal.

Opeyemi Bamidele, chairman of the senate committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said the N10.8tn 2020 budget which the loan plan forms a part of, was intended to prevent a recession.

“The 2020 budget estimate of the federal government was high and the government must ensure that it is made implementable through proper funding and the loan will help in making the funds available," Bamindele was quoted by The Guardian Nigeria.

“Our people should see it as a welcome development and a way to keep our economy soaring."

Clifford Ordia, who presented a report on the plan, said China Exim Bank would provide the highest loan of over $17bn, with loans from World Bank, Africa Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank making up the rest of the funding.

Presidential support group Buhari Media Organisation has said to the Page36 News website, that the loan plan would, “bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap, and launch the country into the League of Nations with top-class infrastructure, at the shortest possible time”.

The external borrowing plan for 2016-2018 was first published by the committee on Local and Foreign Debts in September 2016, but the senate rejected the plan, which proposed borrowing of $30bn, later that year.  

Buhari had urged the senate to consider the request for the external borrowing plan in November 2019, with a request considered by the senate shortly after in December that year.

In April 2019, the International Monetary Fund urged the nation to diversify its revenue in April 2019, after a said that public services and infrastructure were under strain.

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