Upper Chamber approves $200m foreign loan for Lagos

The loan is meant to finance deficits in the annual government budget so as to enhance its capacity to execute key projects.

Governor Ambode

The Senate has approved $200 million foreign loan as the third tranche of the $600 million requested by Lagos State from the World Bank through the Federal Government External Borrowing Plan packaged to span 2015 to 2017.

The loan was approved on today, Wednesday, November 18.

The essence of the loan is to finance deficits in the annual government budget so as to enhance its capacity  to execute key projects. It is a budget support facility under the World Bank Development Policy Operation.

President Muhammadu Buhari, through an executive communication on September 29, had sent a request to the senate for the approval of the loan, which he said would support Lagos to build systems and institutions to improve the quality of spending and strengthen investment climate while maintaining fiscal sustainability.

Senate President Bukola Saraki however directed the request to the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on November 3, giving it a two-week ultimatum to take necessary legislative action on it.

While submitting the report today, the Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya, stated that Lagos and Edo were the only two states in Sub-Saharan Africa that had been able to meet the stringent conditions of the world bank to qualify for the DPO.

He explained that Lagos carried out various reforms in the health, education, social infrastructure and the environment with the earlier funds approved for it in the first and second tranche, which were given pass mark by the World Bank.

Some of the projects as listed by Gaya includes, Lekki-Ikoyi Link Cable Bridge;  Cardiac and Renal Centres at Gbagada General Hospital;  Network of Roads in Apapa; and the 27km Light Rail along Lagos Badagry Expressway to Marina.


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