Seemingly ignoring the cry over the nation’s burgeoning debt and huge servicing cost depriving it of funding for critical sectors, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, is seeking approval of the country’s Senate for another external loan to fund projects captured under the 2018-2021 borrowing plan.
In the letter dated August 24, 2021, read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Buhari said the projects listed in the 2018-2021 Federal Government Borrowing Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE) in the total sum of USD4,054,476,863.00; Euro 710m and Grant Component of USD125m.
According to Ezrel Tabiowo, Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President, Buhari explained that the funds would be used to fund Federal and States Government projects cutting across key sectors such as Infrastructure, Health, Agriculture and Food Security, Energy, Education and Human Capital Development and COVID-19 Response efforts.
The projects, spread across the six geo-political zones of the country, he assured, would bring about job creation and poverty reduction, as well as protection of the most vulnerable and very poor segments of the Nigerian society.
According to Buhari in the letter, “the Senate President may wish to recall that I earlier transmitted a request on the proposed 2018-2020 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan for the concurrent approval of the Senate in May, 2021.
“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as at June 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward and addendum to the proposed Borrowing Plan…
“The Senate is kindly invited to note that the projects and programmes in the Borrowing Plan were selected based on positive, technical and economic evaluations and the contribution they would make to the socio-economic development of the country including employment generation and poverty reduction as well as protection of the most vulnerable and very poor segments of the Nigerian society.
“The Senate may also wish to note that all the listed projects in the addendum form part of the 2018-2021 External Borrowing Plan and cover both the Federal and States Government projects and are geared towards the realization of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan that cut across key sectors such as Infrastructure, Health, Agriculture and Food Security, Energy, Education and Human Capital Development and COVID-19 Response efforts.
“A summary of some key projects in each of the six geo-political zones and a summary on the expected impacts on the socio-economic development of each of the six (6) geo-political zones are attached herewith as Annex II and III.
“Given the importance attached to the timely delivery of the projects listed in the proposed Borrowing Plan and the benefits both the Federal and State Governments stand to gain from the implementation of same, I hereby wish to request for the kind consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan to enable the projects become effective,” the president stressed further.