By Naomi Sharang
The Senate on Wednesday approved $ 1.5 billion and € 995 million in foreign loan requests from President Mohammadu Buhari.
The approval followed consideration of the Senate Committee’s report on local and foreign debts presented by its chairman, Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP-Edo)in plenary.
The president had sent a letter to the Senate in May 2020 requesting approval for another batch of external loans to allow the administration to finance the 2020 budget deficit, critical projects and support certain states of the federation.
The federal government said the loans would be used to execute priority projects and help state governments boost their economies hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its presentation, Ordia noted that the borrowings were loans with low interest rates and a reasonable moratorium and repayment period.
He said: “There are no unusual or onerous conditions attached to the terms of the loans and in no way compromises the viability of the Nigerian economy or calls into question the integrity and independence of Nigeria as a sovereign nation.
“The loan is in the immediate best interest of the Nigerian state and its citizens to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic so that the economy is positioned for a rapid recovery and resumption of growth.
“While Nigeria’s total public debt stock is increasing, it remains relatively low relative to the country’s GDP and increased borrowing needs are needed to support economic recovery.”
The World Bank’s $ 750 million for the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Recovery Action program to support state-level efforts to protect livelihoods, ensure food security and stimulate economic activity (N –CARES). ” (NOPE)
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