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Buhari asks senate to approve multi-billion dollar loan request rejected under Saraki

President Muhammadu Buhari has again sent a request to the senate to approve the federal government’s 2016-2018 external borrowing plan.

The president made the request via a letter addressed to Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Thursday.

The president first sent the loan request originally estimated at $29.960 billion in 2016, but it was rejected by the senate under the leadership of Bukola Saraki.

Only the federal government’s emergency projects for the north-east and one China-assisted railway modernisation project were approved out of the 39 projects covered in the plan.

In the new request read during the plenary session, Buhari asked the lawmakers to approve the loan which he said is “critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes”.

The letter read: “While I have transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the eight National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature.

“Only the federal government’s emergency projects for the North East’s four states projects and one China…assistant railway modernisation projects for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of the total of 39 projects.

“Outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.”

Buhari added that the outstanding projects are in line with the sustainability analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office and had been approved by the federal executive council in August 2016.

“Accordingly, I have attached for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Minster of Finance, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan for which legislation approval is currently sought,” he said.

“I have also directed the minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”


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