Reps Approve FG’s $1.5bn, €995m External Borrowing Plan To Finance Priority Projects

File Photo of Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja 

 

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.

READ ALSO: Senate Approves $1.5bn, €995m External Loans For FG, States

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.

Buhari Seeks Review, Approval Of 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan

President Buhari Signs NCDC Bill Into Law
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the National Assembly to review and approve the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan.

He made the request in letters forwarded to the Legislature and read on Thursday on the floors of both chambers of the National Assembly in Abuja.

In the letters, the President explained that the request was for specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 borrowing plan.

He explained that the Eighth National Assembly approved only a part of the External Borrowing request forwarded to it in September 2016.

READ ALSO: ‘You Can’t Muzzle Nigerians,’ IBB Condemns Hate Speech Bill

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.

Osinbajo Writes Senate, Seeks Approval For $1.5bn Loan

Osinbajo Congratulates French President-elect, MacronActing President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday requested that the Senate approves a 1.5 billion dollar loan.

The loan, which is part of the 2016/2018 External Borrowing Plan of the Federal Government, is meant for the execution of projects in 10 states.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, made the request known to the upper chamber after reading a letter from Osinbajo on the floor of the House on Tuesday, June 6.

Finance Minister Says Planned Borrowing Is For Capital Investment

minister of financeThe Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun says Nigeria’s 2016 budget will help the Federal Government to build a resilient economy.

She made this known in an interview with Channels Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Finance Minister noted that Nigeria’s past borrowings were not well utilized.

She added that the country has no other choice than to borrow for capital investments through its medium term expenditure framework.

“If you look at the budget it is structured to invest in capital, we are borrowing to invest in capital.

“In 2008, we spent from our reserves and increased our borrowings by 3% of the GDP

“You either build up your cash reserves like the Saudis or build the economy like Dubai did, but we don’t have either of any, we don’t have the cash and the infrastructure to drive the economy.

The Finance Minister further stated that the oil price has given “us a unique opportunity to do the right thing at 31 Dollars per barrel what we failed to do when it was 114 per barrel”.

She added that the government has to ensure that the borrowed money stimulates the economy and get things moving again.