Senate rejects Buhari’s $29.9bn loan request

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It was gathered that the Senate on Tuesday declined consideration of the request of President Muhammadu Buhari seeking approval to source $29.9 billion loan as part of the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing Plan.

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The request which was introduced for consideration by the Leader of the Senate Ali Ndume and seconded by Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha, was rejected by majority of the senators present.

When the question was put to commence the consideration of the request senators answered in the negative, rejecting the proposal,

The President of the Senate Bukola Saraki who appeared surprised by the position of the senators, posed the question again and many more senator answered “nay”.

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Saraki therefore ruled in favour of the dissenting voices and the request was rejected.

A source close to the National Assembly told our correspondent that the borrowing plan is part of the 2016 to 2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) which had not been considered nor passed.

He said that the Senate could not then approve the loan which was part of the MTEF which was yet to be considered.

The source also said that the request of President Buhari was not submitted with the attached breakdown of the proposed expenditure for which the loan was sought.

Recall that President Buhari had written to the Senate seeking approval to borrow the said sum.

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According to the letter sent to the Senate, the money is to be spent on power, railway, roads, education, health, water resources among others.

The money is to be spent as follows: projects and programmes loan of $11.274 billion; Special National Infrastructure projects $10.686 billion; Euro Bonds of $4.5 billion and Federal Government Budget Support of $3.5 billion.

In a related development, the request of President Buhari to appoint non-career ambassadors almost failed consideration on the floor of the Senate.

The letter from Mr President which read by the Leader of the Senate Ali Ndume and the President of the Senate put it to voice vote.

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Saraki was surprised by the vote seeming to be in the negative and as such urged his colleagues to concentrate.

When the question was put again, the President of the Senate ruled in favour of the “ayes” and committed the request for consideration by the Senate.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has also written to the Red Chamber seeking confirmation of Mr Umoru Ibrahim for re-appointment.

Ibrahim is to be re-appointed as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC)

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