By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate has begun consideration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the approval of an external loan of $5.5 billion to enable the Federal Government finance the 2017 budget as well as re- finance domestic debts.
The move by the Senate to commence consideration of the external loan request followed executive communication by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, who said: “Senate do consider the Request of Mr. President C-in-C for the Approval of External Loans for: 1. Issuance of USD 2.5 billion to Finance the 2017 Appropriation Act; and ii. USD 3 billion to Re- finance debts.”
After the communication, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over yesterday’s plenary, referred the request to the Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) led Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts and report back in two weeks.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, Tuesday, this week written to the Senate, asking for the approval of an external loan of $5.5 billion to enable the Federal government finance the 2017 budget.
President Buhari’s request for external borrowing to the tune of $5.5 billion was contained in a letter to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki which was read on the floor of the Senate.
The four- page letter which was addressed to Senate President, Bukola Saraki is entitled, “ Request for the approval of External Loans for: 1. Implementation of the External Borrowing Approved in the 2017 Appropriation Act: 11 External Borrowing to Re- finance maturing domestic debts through the issuance of USD3.00 Billion Eurobond in the International Capital Market or through a loan syndication.”
According to the letter, while $3 billion would be sourced through Euro bond, the remaining $2.5 would come from other sources in the international capital market.