National Assembly defends Buhari’s $4.9bn loan plan, APC, PDP clash over debt


The Senate on Wednesday justified the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari  (retd.)’s  plan to obtain $4.054bn and €710m ($$839m)  loans.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, who stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, said there is no country that does not engage in deficit financing.

Basiru said this as the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha while giving a  breakdown of the public debt stock for the second quarter of 2021 during a virtual media presentation on Wednesday, said Nigeria’s total public debt stock rose from N33.11tn as of March 31, 2021, to N35.47tn as of June 30, 2021.
This suggests an increase of N2.36tn or a 7.12776 per cent increase.

The President had on Tuesday submitted to the National Assembly, a request for approval to obtain fresh external loans of $4.054bn and €710m (($$839m).

According to a letter written to both chambers of the National Assembly, Buhari is also seeking the federal legislature’s approval for grant components of $125m in the 2018-2020 external rolling borrowing plan.
The President had on May 18, 2021sought the approval of the Senate to borrow $6.18bn external loans to finance this year’s N5.6tn budget deficit.

He said the loans would be used to finance critical projects and create jobs.
If the President gets the go-ahead to obtain the loans, the country’s debt profile will rise.

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