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Thursday, 5 March 2020

Senate Approves Buhari's $22.7 Billion Loan Request

The Senate, on Thursday, approved the $22.7bn loan request from President Muhammadu Buhari after Minority leader of the Senate,  Enyinnaya Abaribe accused the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan of suppressing opposing views in the process of approving the loan request..

Abaribe made the allegation shortly after the presentation of the report on President Muhamadu Buhari's 2016- 2018 External borrowing plan.

The loan request which was submitted to the Senate for approval by President Muhammadu Buhari in November last year is expected to fund some capital projects in the 2020 budget.
It had been previously rejected by the 8th Senate under the leadership of Bukola Saraki but reintroduced in the 9th Senate. 

But the loan request report which was originally meant to be submitted during Thursday's plenary and discussed on another legislative day had to be deliberated on immediately following fears raised by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan that the document might get to the press before it was discused in plenary.

Following agreement among lawmakers that the document be deliberated on,  chairman of the Senate committee on local and foreign debt, Clifford Ordia went ahead to present the committee's report.

Minority leader Enyinnaya Abaribe called for a line by line consideration of the document to ensure that loans are only obtained to fund economically viable projects.

His request was flatly rejected by the President of the Senate who insisted that line by line consideration of loan requests is not in tandem with legislative practice in the Senate.

The disagreement continued, leading to a closed door session which lasted for an hour after which the request was approved.

However, Lawan added that the Senate will carry out serious oversight activities to ensure that the loan is used for the projects attached to them.
As at September 2019, Nigeria's entire debt stood at 26.9 trillion naira, this has raised concerns on dangers ahead for future generation.

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