National Assembly defends Buhari’s $4.9bn loan request

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Moboluwade Tobiloba



The Senate, on Wednesday, defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to obtain fresh external loans.

Recall Blackbox Nigeria reported that the President, on Tuesday, submitted a request for a loan approval to the National Assembly to obtain external loans of $4.054bn and £710m, saying the loans would be used to finance critical projects and create jobs.

In an interview with The PUNCH, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru said there was no country that does not engage in deficit financing.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Debt Management Office had revealed in a virtual media presentation, on Wednesday, that Nigeria’s total public debt stock rose from N33.11tn as of March 31 2021 to N35.47tn as of June 30, 2021.

Basiru, however, allayed the fears of Nigerians concerning the loans, saying there was no cause for alarm as the loan request was still within the framework of the external borrowing plan of the government.

He told the newspaper, “It is part of the borrowing plans of the government which had already been approved in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

“The latest request is not a fresh loan, but an addendum to the earlier one which we have approved and it is still within the framework of the external borrowing plan of the government

“It is important to galvanise the economy and invest in critical infrastructure that will put us in a better position to prepare our country for the future

“What we should concern ourselves with is to look at the projects that the loans are attached to and the social economic benefits of those projects.”


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