President Tinubu Seeks Senate Approval for $7.8 Billion and €100 Million Loans Just After Presenting N2.18 Trillion Supplementary Budget

President Bola Tinubu has swiftly approached the Senate, seeking approval for additional loans totaling $7.8 billion and €100 million, a mere day after presenting the N2.18 trillion supplementary budget for consideration. This development underscores the government’s urgency in securing financial resources to support critical projects and initiatives.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio revealed the President’s loan request during a plenary session on Wednesday, emphasizing the government’s commitment to addressing key areas of development. Just a day earlier, President Tinubu had presented a supplementary budget of N2.18 trillion to the National Assembly, highlighting the evolving financial needs of the country.

It is worth noting that the National Assembly had previously granted approval for a N819.5 billion allocation, which included a N500 billion palliative package designed to cushion the impact of recent economic policy changes by the Federal Government. The President’s letter to the Senate shed light on the origin of the borrowing plan, stating, “The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved the 2022–2024 borrowing plan at the Federal Executive Council, held on the 15th day of May 2023.”

The borrowing plan encompasses an array of projects spanning various sectors, with a particular focus on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, security, employment, and financial management reforms, among others. The total facility for these projects and programs under the borrowing plan stands at $7,864,508,559 in dollars and €100 million in euros.

President Tinubu further disclosed that both the African Development Bank and the World Bank Group have expressed interest in assisting Nigeria in mitigating the economic challenges brought about by the removal of the fuel subsidy and recent reforms. They have committed substantial sums of $1 billion and $2 billion, respectively.

In light of the approved 2022-2024 external borrowing plan, the total sum requiring approval now stands at $7,864,508,559 in dollars and €1,000 million in euros. These funds are critical for financing key infrastructure projects, including those in the power, railway, and healthcare sectors, among others, as the country grapples with its current economic realities.

President Tinubu emphasized that these projects and programs were selected based on rigorous technical and economic assessments, with a strong focus on their potential contributions to Nigeria’s socioeconomic development. The objectives include job creation, skills development, support for emerging entrepreneurs, poverty reduction, and food security, all aimed at improving the lives of average Nigerians.

These ambitious projects and programs are set to be implemented in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. President Tinubu emphasized the urgency of the situation, noting, “Given the nature of these facilities and the need to restore the country to normalcy, it has become imperative to request the Senate’s consideration and approval of the 2022-2024 external borrowing plans. This will enable the government to fulfill its responsibilities to Nigerians by ensuring swift disbursement and efficient project implementation.”

Author

Ademola Adeyemi

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