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FG’s borrowing is for the benefit of Nigeria –Senate

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THE Nigerian Senate has shown its support for the most recent loan of $4.054bn and €710m ($839m) request by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs Ajibola Basiru made this known on Wednesday in an interview with The Punch.

“There is no country that does not engage in deficit financing. We are still within the approved limit guaranteed by law. The borrowing is for the development of the country and they are tied to specific projects,” he said.

Basiru said the new requests were not fresh but a part of an earlier loan that the Senate had approved.

This was also contained in a letter read by Senate President Ahmed Lawan during plenary on Tuesday, saying the current loans were an addendum to the 2018-2020 borrowing plan.

Buhari had requested the approval of the National Assembly of external loans, which amounted to $4.054bn and €710m (($839m) on Tuesday.

This comes shortly after the approval by the Senate of $8.3 billion and €490 million loans contained in the initial 2018-2020 borrowing plan in July.

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The loan request has sparked criticisms among Nigerians, including the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). On Tuesday, the party described the [loan request] as an attempt by Buhari to mortgage the future of the country and its citizens.

Reacting to the claims made by the PDP, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) issued a statement on Wednesday, saying the loans were required to develop the country’s economy.

Nigeria’s total external debt currently stands at N33.1 trillion, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

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