The House of Representatives has approved the Federal Government’s External Borrowing Plan of 1.5 billion dollars and 995 Million Euros, to finance priority projects.
The lawmakers are asking that the terms and conditions of the loans from each lender as contained in a duly Executed Loan Agreements, should be forwarded to the National Assembly for proper documentation.
The House also approved a revenue target of l.678 trillion naira for the Nigeria Customs Service for the 2021 fiscal year.
The figure is an increase from the initial 1.465 trillion naira proposed by the Nigeria Customs Service, which the House considered inadequate.
The lawmakers are asking the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to as matter of urgency to procure four Scanners for the Nigeria Customs Service from the best scanners manufacturers either from Germany or America but not China-made scanners.
This, according to President Buhari, stalled the Federal Government’s implementation of critical projects spanning across the mining, power, health, agricultural, water and educational sectors.
The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, read the letter to lawmakers present in the Senate chamber.
The letter read: “Pursuant to Section 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act, I hereby request for Resolutions of the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing plan, as well as relevant projects under this plan.
“Specifically, the Senate is invited to note that: While I had transmitted the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan to the Eighth National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the Legislature, only the Federal Government’s Emergency projects for the North East, (Four (4) States’ projects and one (1) China Exam Bank Assisted Railway Modernisation Projects for Lagos – Ibadan Segment) we’re approved, out of a total of thirty-nine (39) projects.
“The Outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the Legislature are, nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the Government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.
“These outstanding projects are well advanced in terms of their preparation, consistent with the 2016 Debt Sustainability Analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office and were approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2016 under the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing Plan.
“Accordingly, I have attached, for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning the specific outstanding projects under the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing plan for which legislative approval is currently sought.
“I have also directed the Minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.
In a related development, President Buhari in another letter addressed to the Senate President transmitted the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2019 to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
The letter read: “Pursuant to Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I hereby forward the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2019 for consideration and passage into law.
“The Senate may wish to note that, in this Bill, Section 26(5) of the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act has been amended to: Preserve the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation to approve the registration of Companies Limited by Guarantee: and Reflect the Ease of Doing Business principles in Executive Order No. 1 of 2017 on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment.”
Meanwhile, 10 bills sponsored by various members of the Senate were read for the first time.
Some of them are Marriage Act CAP M6 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, Federal Co-operative Colleges (Est, etc) Bill, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, Project Continuity Bill, and Federal Character Commission Act CAP F7 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill.
Others include Animal Disease Control Act CAP A17 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, Federal College of Education Toro, Bauchi State (Est, etc) Bill, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act 2003 (Amendment) Bill.