‘It’s not a fresh loan’ — senate defend Buhari’s N850bn request

‘It’s not a fresh loan’ — senate defend Buhari’s N850bn request
‘It’s not a fresh loan’ — senate defend Buhari’s N850bn request

The senate says President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier sent the request for the N850 billion loan it approved on Tuesday.

There are reports that the president made a fresh application to the national assembly, triggering reactions about the country’s rising debt.

As of December, Nigeria’s debt portfolio stood at N27.4 trillion.

In a statement on Thursday, Ajibola Basiru, senate spokesman, said the upper legislative chamber only amended its resolution on the request that it had earlier approved.

The amendment was on the money being raised from domestic capital markets instead of the international capital markets – earlier approved as source of the fund, he explained.

“It is very important to make a very important clarification particularly as the widely circulated erroneous report that the Senate approved a fresh loan of N850 billion at the Plenary on Tuesday,” the spokesman said.

“That is far from the truth. The resolution passed was an amendment of the earlier resolution as to the source of the initial N850bn loan that had been approved to be part of what should be used to fund the 2020 Appropriation Act.

“You will recall that the Senate had actually approved the loan of N850 billion but to be sourced from external sources. However, because of the covid-19 Pandemic and of the challenge in the international oil market with the attendant challenges of raising the approved loan externally, the President requested that the approved loan should rather be raised through the Domestic Capital Market.

“It was the above request as to sourcing the earlier approved external borrowing of N850bn from Domestic Capital Market that was approved by the Senate.”

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