President Bola Tinubu is seeking approval of the Senate to obtain another loan facility of $8.69 billion and €100 million as part of the 2022-2024 external borrowing plan of the federal government.
President Tinubu’s request was contained in a letter read by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, during the plenary sessions on both chambers on Tuesday.
There are, however, indications that it is not a fresh request but an increase in the figure the president requested in his letter to the National Assembly on 1 November.
On 1 November, Mr Tinubu asked the National Assembly to grant him permission to go ahead with with the processing of a loan facility of $7.86 billion and €100 million requested during the administration of Mr Buhari as part of the external borrowing plan of 2022 – 2024.
The loan request has not been granted since it was requested.
Although he did not state it in Tuesday’s letter, it is believed that the president increased a component of the loan from $7.86 billion to N8.69 billion.
The president’s request is coming a day before he is billed to present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly.
In the letter, Mr Tinubu said the loan was first requested during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari under the 2022 – 2024 external borrowing plan.
This is the second time the president will be requesting permission of the lawmakers to obtain foreign loan under the 2022 – 2024 external borrowing plan initiated by Mr Buhari before he exited office in May.
Mr Tinubu said the new loan request will be used to finance infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, security and employment as well as financial management reforms.
He said the loan is necessary in order to make his administration fulfill its promises.
The letter reads
“I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.
“The senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023.
“The project cuts across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.
“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.
“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.
“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”