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‘Nigeria Can Still Borrow More’ – Senate Defends Buhari’s Loan Plans

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The Senate has asked Nigerians not to worry about President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to obtain $4.054bn and €710m foreign loans.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja.

Naija News reports that Buhari had on Tuesday wrote a letter to the National Assembly, requesting approval to obtain the fresh external loans.

According to a letter, Buhari is also seeking the legislature’s approval for grant components of $125m in the 2018-2020 external rolling borrowing plan.

The President said that the loans would be used to finance critical projects in the country and create jobs for millions of unemployed youths in the country.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Ajibola said the borrowing plans of the President is in order, asking Nigerians not to panic.

The Senate spokesman stated that President Buhari is borrowing for the development of the country and such funds are tied to specific projects.

He revealed that the President accompanied the loan request with supporting documents that contained details of what the money would be used for.

Ajibola said the latest request is not a fresh loan, but an addition to the earlier one which the National Assembly approved in May 2021.

The Senator, however, revealed that Nigeria is still within the approved limit to borrow as guaranteed by law, adding that there is no country that does not engage in deficit financing.

He said, “What Nigerians should be looking at is the benefit and the advantage the society would have when the loans are taken and effectively utilised.

“There is no country that does not engage in deficit financing. We are still within the approved limit guaranteed by law.

“The borrowing is for the development of the country and they are tied to specific projects.

“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.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows. Gbenga is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.