Promoting Good Governance.

Buhari bombards Senate with letters, requests approval of $2.78 billion Eurobonds

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday requested for National Assembly resolution to raise $2.78 billion from the International Capital Market for part-funding of the 2018 budget.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki read the President’s request from a letter dated July 23 during plenary.

This was part of the high-points of the plenary when the Senate reconvened on Tuesday after it went on recess on July 25, 2018.

He explained that the loan would be raised from Eurobonds and other securities in the international capital market.

According to the letter, President Buhari noted that the amount, approved in the 2018 Appropriation Act, would be used to finance deficits and key infrastructure projects in the 2018 budget.

He also requested for the legislative approval for an external capital sourcing of $82.54 million to refinance the balance of $500 million matured Eurobonds in the international capital market.

The requests, the President explained, were pursuant to Section 21(1) and 27(1) of the Debt Management Office (Establishment, Etc.) Act of 2003.

Beyond that, he also asked for the Senate consideration and approval of N346 billion as the 2018 budget proposal of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The figure is N18 billion lower than the N364 billion budget approved for the commission in the 2017 fiscal year.

A breakdown of the proposed amount shows a total recurrent expenditure of N32 billion and cumulative capital provision of N314 billion.

The president listed sources of revenue for the Commission in 2018 to include federal government contribution (N81.8 billion) and unpaid arrears by the federal government (N33.9 billion). Others are contributions from oil companies and others (N220 billion) and other “realised income” (N150 million).

Buhari also presented an Executive Bill titled ‘Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill, 2018″ to the Senate for consideration and passage.

In a separate letter dated July 20, Buhari said the bill was intended to curtail illegal activities of pirates at sea and to reduce oil theft in domestic and international waters.

He added that the proposed legislation would also domesticate relevant provisions of international treaties to which Nigeria is signatory.

One of the treaties, according to the president, is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982 (UNCLOS II) relating to piracy.

He identified another as the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, 1988 and its protocols.

In another letter dated September 10, the President Buhari also requested Senate to confirm the appointment of Olanipekun Olukoyede as Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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