House Okays Buhari’s $22.29bn Loan Request

President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign loan request has been approved by the House of Representatives.

The approval of the $22.29bn loan by the House was in concurrence with the Senate.

This approval is coming days after Buhari wrote to the National Assembly to request approval of fresh external borrowings totalling $ 5 . 513 bn.

Buhari had, in his letter read in the Senate and House on Thursday , said the funds were for 2020 budget deficit , financing of critical projects.

The $ 22 . 79 bn loan is part of the 2016 –2018 Federal Government External Borrowing ( Rolling ) Plan.

The Senate had on March 6 approved the loan amidst controversy. The Minority Leader , Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe , had particularly led the protests.

The House on March 11 suspended its consideration of the request indefinitely .

The Speaker , Femi Gbajabiamila , would later on March 18 disclose that the protest by National Assembly members from the South- East geopolitical zone led to the suspension of work on the loan .

He had said the House was already in talks with the Federal Government officials on how the zone would be accommodated in the execution of projects with the loan .

At the plenary on Tuesday , the House considered and adopted the report by the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management led by Mr Ahmed Safana , which inserted the Port Harcourt- Maiduguri rail line project, asking the Federal Government to seek a separate loan for its execution .

The Speaker noted that the leadership of the House had drawn the commitment of the finance minister that the project must be captured in the next loan if the lawmakers must approve it.

The committee in its report , however, echoed the concerns expressed by Nigerians on the country ’ s rising debt profile and the implication for the economy .

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