OrderPaperToday – The Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for ongoing external loans to the tune of $8,325,526,537 (USD) and €490,000,000 (Euros) under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan.
The approval followed the consideration of a report on the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, during plenary on Thursday.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, noted the genuine and very serious concerns of Nigerians about the level and sustainability/serviceability of the country’s borrowings in the last decade.
“our (Nigeria’s) debt service figures constitute a huge drain on our revenue to the extent that it account for over 30 percent of our expenditure in the annual budget”, Ordia stated.
The lawmaker stated that due to the shortfall in the country’s annual revenues in relation to the need for rapid infrastructural and human capital development, “we have had to pass deficit budget every year, requiring us to borrow to finance the deficit in our budget.”
He noted that out of the total borrowing request of $36,837,281,256 contained in the re-forwarded request of Mr. President, a sum of $26,154,536,533 is for funds proposed to be borrowed from various financial institutions from the Peoples Republic of China.
He explained that the proposed projects in the Ministries’ of Transportation, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Aviation, Works & Housing, Agriculture and Water Resources and some Commissions such as National Universities Commission, North East Development Commission and the National Identity Management Commission are mostly ongoing projects and programmes in respect of which external borrowed funds have been spent in the past, including loans.
“These projects have a great multiplier effect on stimulating economic growth through infrastructure development, job creation and Poverty alleviation, stimulation of Commercial and Engineering activities and the consequent tax revenues payable to Government as a result of these productive activities” Ordia explained.
The funding agencies are: World Bank – $796,000,000; China Exim Bank – $2,901,026,509; Industrial Commercial Bank of China – $2,484,555,304; African Development Bank – $104,200,000; Africa Growing Together Fund – $20,000,000; French Development Agency – €240,000,000; European Investment Bank – €250,000,000; European ECA/KfW/IPEX/AFC – $1,959,744,724; and International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) – $60,000,000.

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