The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has directed the Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debt to commence legislative work on the external loan request sent to the lawmakers by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Lawan gave the directive on Tuesday when the matter came up during plenary.
Naija News recalls President Buhari in a letter read in the Senate last Tuesday by Ahmad Lawan, sought the approval of the lawmakers to borrow fresh $4,054,476,863 and €710 million external loans.
Buhari in the letter urged the National Assembly to approve grant components of $125 million.
He explained that due to the demands in the country, there is a need to raise more funds for some “critical projects”.
A similar letter of request was also forwarded to the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Senate Committee working on the President’s request as directed on Tuesday by Lawan is headed by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP ) Edo.
The Committee has been given a timeline of next week Tuesday to report back to the general house at plenary for consideration of their findings and recommendations.
The loan request has been condemned by some stakeholders in the country including the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are of the opinion that the loans are becoming unbearable and putting undue pressure on national finance.
But in an update last Saturday, the Presidency while pressing ahead with the borrowing plan, gave a detailed breakdown on how the President Muhammadu Buhari administration plans to spend the new foreign loans.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu listed projects and beneficiaries of the loans.
He said that 15 projects, across the six geo-political zones, are to be financed with the anticipated funds from multilateral institutions, under the 2018-2021 medium-term (rolling) external borrowing plan.
According to the presidency, the loans will be sourced from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE).