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Amid concern for Nigeria’s rising debt, Buhari seeks approval for fresh $4bn, €71m loans

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AMID concerns for Nigeria rising debt, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate for a fresh approval for over $4 billion and €710 million loans.

According to a letter from the president read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan during Tuesday’s plenary, the fresh loans were an addendum to the 2018-2020 borrowing plan.

Buhari also asked the lawmakers to approve the grant components of $125 million.

Buhari noted that the fresh loans would address emerging needs and critical projects being embarked upon by his administration in 2021.

“The distinguished Senate president may recall that I submitted a request on 2018-2020 borrowing plan for the approval of the senate in May 2021,” part of the letter had said.

“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as of June 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan.”

He stated that the projects listed in the external borrowing plan were to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in the total sum of $4.054 billion and €710 million and grant components of $125 million.

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In July, the Senate had approved the sums of $8.3 billion and €490 million loans contained in the initial 2018-2020 borrowing plan.

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki had publicly in April expressed concerns about the country’s rising public debts.

The governor alleged that due to dwindling revenue, the Federal Government was forced to print N50 billion to N60 billion to augment allocations received by states from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in March.

According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria’s total public debt as of December 31, 2020, was N33.1 trillio.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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