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Senate Approves Buhari's $5.5bn Foreign Loans Request

Senate Approves Buhari's $5.5bn Foreign Loans Request”

Nigeria will move ahead with plans to borrow $5.5 billion from foreign investors after the Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari request for the move.

However, the Senate on Tuesday following the adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts at its plenary approved the loan request.

$2.5bn is to be used for financing the 2017 budget while $3bn is to be used for refinancing domestic debts.

"The $3 billion for refinancing of the nation's domestic debts will not lead to an increase in the public debt portfolio".

The committee said that the Mambila Hydro Power Project which had always been abandoned when completed will add substantially to the National grid and improve power output of the country. "

"The projects include the Mambilla hydro-power project, construction of the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, counterpart funding of rail projects and construction of Bonny road with a bridge across Opobo channel."

".

"Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, the loan cover projects that spread across the six geopolitical zones and those projects were critical to Nigerians, so it should be approved", he said.

"We're working to ensure Nigerians get dividends of democracy and return Nigeria to a construction giant", said Gbenga Ashafa, a senator representing a constituency in commercial capital Lagos, according to the Senate's official Twitter feed.

Giving further clarification, Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan noted that part of the bond would be used to offset foreign loans in order to reduce pressure on the nation's foreign reserves. "The executive has tried also to comply with laws that govern the seeking approval for loans", he said. He added that he was confident that the infrastructure projects to be executed with the sums borrowed would have a major impact on the economy.



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