NEWS

Senate Approves Tinubu’s Request Of $500m Loan

The Senate has given its nod to President Bola Tinubu’s $500 million loan request in support of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for an electricity metering programme. This program aims to enhance the financial and technical performance of electricity distribution companies (DisCos) as part of the World Bank-funded Nigeria Distribution Sector Recovery Program (DISREP).

The approval follows the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts’ consideration of the 2022–2024 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan for the BPE. Senator Haruna Manu, PDP Taraba Central, presented the report, affirming the Senate’s endorsement of the $500 million loan for the BPE’s ongoing external borrowing negotiations.

‘’The $500 million loan is part of the $7.94 billion loan which President Bola Tinubu sought the Senate’s approval for on November 1, 2023, under the 2022-2024 external borrowing plan. The President also sought approval for €100 million.

‘’However, the Senate gave the approval to borrow $7.4 billion approved during its special plenary December 30 after considering the report of the Committee on local and foreign debt.’’

Manu reiterated that the terms and conditions under which the loan was brought would not in any manner compromise the sustainability of Nigeria’s economic growth or hinder the integrity and independence of Nigeria as a sovereign nation.

He stated further, “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will recall that at the plenary on November 1, 2023, a communication from Mr. President requesting the approval of Federal Government 2022 – 2024 External Borrowing Plan was read.

“The external borrowing (rolling) plan contain a request for approval of $7,944,508,559.00 and Euro 100,000,000 as grant component.

“The communication and the attached scheduled was referred to the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt for further legislative action.

“A report (No.1) of this Committee recommending the approval of $7,444,508,559.00 and £100,000,000.00 out of the proposed total facility of $7,944,508,559.00 was laid before the Senate and was considered on December 30, 2023.

“The committee deferred consideration on the proposed project and amount for Bureau of Public Enterprises due to the agency’s failure to appear before the committee to defend the proposed project for their agency as captured in the external borrowing plan.

“Following the resumption of the committee’s consideration of the outstanding request, and after legislative interactions, deliberations, and due diligences, the committee hereby submit its report and sought for the approval of the recommendation therein.

“The request of Mr. President is in compliance with the provisions of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act 2003 (DMO) and the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 (FRA) which both enjoin the President to seek and obtain the approval of the National Assembly in respect and also obligates the National Assembly to decide on the request by a resolution.’’

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