The Senate on Wednesday approved fresh $16.23 billion and €1bn loans requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This was sequel to the presentation of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, during plenary.

Presenting the report, Mr Oridia noted that the most of the projects which the funds are requested for in the 2018-2020 borrowing were currently being executed.

“The committee notes that a good number of the projects in respect of which financing is being requested under the 2018-2020 external borrowing (rolling) plan are mostly ongoing projects and programmes in respect of which external borrowed funds have been spent in the past, including loans and grants,” Mr Ordia said.

Mr Ordia said the projects are geared towards stimulating a rebirth of commercial and engineering activities to boost tax revenue payable to the government.

He further told the Senate that only 10 per cent of the $22.8billion approved by the national assembly under the 2016-2018 external borrowing rolling plan was disbursed to Nigeria.

He explained that the projects will have a great multiplier effect in stimulating growth through infrastructure development, job creation, poverty alleviation, health care and improve our security architecture.

The loans will be funded by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD), Mr Ordia said.

The Senate also approved  a grant component of $125 million.

In September, the Buhari regime requested the facilities in an addendum to the 2018-2020 borrowing plans.

The fresh loan approvals come as financial experts continue to express worries over Nigeria’s growing debt profile.

In July, the Senate approved a N2.343 trillion external borrowing plan as an initial request in the 2018-2020 borrowing plan to finance the 2021 budget deficit.

The country’s debt status has continued to rise following the president’s decision to keep servicing the country’s ballooning budget with loans from foreign countries.

In December 2020, the country’s debt status rose to N32.915 from N32.222 trillion in September.

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