The senate authorised President Muhammadu Buhari’s $5.513 billion external loan request.
$125million to strengthen healthcare system and enhance response to COVID-19 and $23 million for financing smallholder farmers.
Ongoing negotiation by the Federal Government with the World Bank for between $500million – $750 million for COVID-19 Action
The senate on Tuesday authorised President Muhammadu Buhari’s $5.513 billion external loan request to finance the revised 2020 budget.
The approval followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Odia (Edo Central) by the upper chamber.
Buhari in his letter of request, stated that the $5.513 billion external loan is to allow the Federal Government fund the 2020 revised budget.
Nonetheless the components of the external loan which is to enable the Federal Government execute its priority projects and for projects to assist State Governments in stimulating their economy which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was stood down by the Senate attributable to lack of requisite details.
Lenders for the federal government’s priority projects as accredited by the Senate are: the AfDB – $125million to strengthen healthcare system and enhance response to COVID-19 and $23 million for financing smallholder farmers to mitigate food security impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Other sources are $600million from the Islamic Development Bank to assist Nigeria’s response to challenges posed by COVID-19 and $500 million from the African Export-Import Bank to supply important Medical supplies to fight COVID-19.
However, the intention of the Federal Government to borrow €995million from the Export-Import Bank of Brazil to support Green imperative and improve the mechanisation of agriculture and agro-processing in Nigeria,was put in abeyance by the upper chamber.
Additionally the ongoing negotiation by the Federal Government with the World Bank for between $500million – $750 million for COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Program to assist state-level efforts to protect livelihoods, guarantee food security and stimulate economic activities, has not been accredited.
Moreover, $500 – $750 million also being negotiated with the World Bank for State Fiscal Transparency and Sustainability Program to supply fiscal support to the States was not approved.
The Committee stated that it will think about the proposals when it gets requisite details on what the loans would be used for from the Minister of Finance, Budget National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.