Senate finally approves Buhari’s request for $5.5 billion foreign loan

Senate asks FG to conduct Fresh Census in 2018

The Senate has approved President Buhari’s request to borrow foreign loans totalling $5.5 billion.

The approval followed the Senate’s adoption of a report by its local and foreign debt committee on the proposed jumbo loan request at the Tuesday plenary.

The component of the loan include raising $2.5 billion through diaspora bond or Eurobond, to finance deficit of the 2017 budget.

The other component is syndicated bank loan totalling $3 billion for refinancing maturing debts

Presenting the report of the committee, Senator Shehu Sani said, “The terms and conditions of the loans are favourable and do not pose any compromise to integrity, independence and interest of Nigerians and its citizens. The projects when completed will create jobs through exchange of downstream economic activities.”

“The construction of the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport will enhance safety of the air passengers, increase the use of the airport by international airlines thus increase the revenue base of the country.

“The rail projects, when completed, will reduce the use of roads, its attendant congestion and thus minimise the cost of road maintenance.

“The Mambilla hydro-power project which had now been abandoned, when completed, will add substantially to the national grid thus improve the power output of the country.

“The $3 billion for refinancing of the nation’s domestic debts will not lead to an increase in the public debt portfolio. However, it will reduce the cost of the debt. The proposed refinancing of the nation’s domestic debts with this relatively cheaper and long term will create a significant decrease in the cost of financing the nation’s debt stock while creating more borrowing space in the domestic market for the private sector from.”

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