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Buhari Senate approves President's $5.5 billion loan request

The Senate is convinced the projects listed for the loan would stimulate economic development.

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How the delay in passing Nigeria’s 2018 budget will affect business owners play President Muhammadu Buhari during the presentation of the 2018 budget to the National Assembly (Twitter/Mbuhari)

The Senate has approved the $5.5 billion external loan request made by President Muhammadu Buhari during its plenary session on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

During Tuesday's session, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Shehu Sani, presented the committee's report to lawmakers of the upper legislative chamber.

He said after consultation with the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and some other members of the executive to explain the benefits of the loan, the committee is confident that the projects listed for the loan would stimulate economic development and create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

Buhari's loan request

During plenary session on Tuesday, October 10, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had read the president's letter where the president sought approval of the Senate for an external loan of $5.5 billion.

In the letter, President Buhari explained that the loan will be sourced through the issuance of Euro and Diaspora bonds and will be used for capital projects in the 2017 budget and refinancing of domestic debts.

The letter read, "Accordingly, the Senate is requested to kindly approve the following external borrowings: Issuance of $2.5bn in International Capital Market through Eurobonds or a combination of Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds for the financing of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s 2017 Appropriation Act and capital expenditure projects in the Act.

"Issuance of Eurobond in the ICM and/or loans syndication by the banks in the sum of $3bn for refinancing of maturing domestic debts obligations of the Federal Government of Nigeria, while looking forward to the timely approval of the National Assembly to enable Nigerians to take advantage of these opportunities for funding."

ALSO READ: President Buhari seeks Senate's approval for $5.5 billion loan

According to the debt statistics published by the Debt Management Office on September 5, the nation's debt has risen by 61.96% since President Buhari was sworn in.

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