The Nigerian senate has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for approval of $29.6 billion external borrowing. The matter went into a voice vote when it was brought forward and the ‘nays’ had it.
The house turned down the external borrowing request due to what it called “lack of documents supporting the request as referenced in the letter”.
Mr. President had written to the National Assembly seeking its approval for an external borrowing of $29.9 billion to ensure the prompt implementation of projects.
In the letter which was read on the floor of the House of Reps by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the President explained that considering the huge infrastructural deficit currently being experienced in the country and the enormous financial resources required to fill the gap in the face of dwindling resources and the inability of the annual budget to bridge the infrastructure deficit, it has become necessary to resort to prudent external borrowing to bridge the financial gap which will largely be applied to key infrastructure projects namely power, railway and road project amongst others.Buhari further explained.
The President further explained:
“The total cost of the projects and programmes under the borrowing plan is 29.96 billion US dollars, made up of proposed projects and programmes loans of 11.274 billion US dollars, special national infrastructure projects of 10.686 billion US dollars, Eurobonds of 4.5 billion US dollars and federal government budget support of 3.5 billion US dollars.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transportation, Senator Olugbenga Ashafa and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Sanni, on Monday expressed displeasure with the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, for not furnishing the joint committee with information on the ministry’s 2016 budget performance.