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Thursday, 27 April 2017

BUHARI SEEKS SENATE’S APPROVAL OF $12.912BN LOAN



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More than five months after the Senate rejected a $29.96 billion loan request from President Muhammadu Buhari, the President yesterday, asked the Red Chamber to approve a loan of $12.912 billion to enable the Federal Government execute some developmental projects in the country.


In the resubmitted request, Buhari asked the National Assembly to give approval to enable him secure a $5.851 billion from the China Exim Bank. He also requested the National Assembly to approve another $6.926 billion from the World Bank, with the two separate loan requests totalling $12.912 billion.

According to a letter to the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, which he read on the floor of the chamber during plenary, the breakdown of the loan requests shows that Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project and the Lagos-Ibadan segment will gulp $1.231 billion. The Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project and Kano-Kaduna segment will take $1.146 billion, while the Coastal Railway project, Lagos-Calabar segment is expected to gulp $3.474 billion.

The three components are part of the loan request from China Exim Bank. Part of the $6.926 billion World Bank loan request, will be used to finance projects in the Boko Haram devastated North- East and also provide social inclusion and welfare advancement project. Also Polio eradication support and routine immunisation project will get $125 million while community and social development project will gulp $75 million, and Nigeria’s states health programme investment project will take $125 million.

Similarly, state education programme investment programme investment project is to take $100 million. Nigeria youth employment and social support project is expected to get $100 million. Fadama 3 project is get $50 million.

Part of President Buhari’s letter reads: “As you are aware, the funds available under the China/ Africa fund are limited and loan applications from all African countries are funded based on first come, first served.

And therefore, there is an urgent need for us to sign these loans as soon as they are approved or we will lose out in the event that we delay in signing the loan agreement. These loans form part of our overall rail funding strategy.

“We are already in the process of completing the concession of the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri line to immediately link the eastern part of the nation. We fully intend to source further consessioning funding to ultimately upgrade this critical line to high speed standard guage line.

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