Sanni Onogu, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday asked the Senate to approve an external loan of $29.96 billion to execute key Infrastructural projects across the country.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read President Buhari’s letter at Plenary.
Buhari in the letter said he decided to represent the request for external loan of $29.96billion, part of which was rejected by the Eight National Assembly, to finance key projects in different sectors of the economy.
The letter titled: “Request for the National Assembly to reconsider and approve the Federal Government’s 2016-2018 external borrowing plan” reads in part:
“Pursuant to Sections 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Establishment Etc) Act, I hereby request for resolutions of the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan as well as relevant projects under this plan.
Specifically, the Senate is invited to note that (a): While I have transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the eight National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature.
Only the Federal Government’s emergency projects for the North East’s four states projects and one China Assisted Railway Modernization Projects for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of the total of 39 projects.
“(b). That outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.
“These outstanding budgets are well-advanced in terms of the preparation, consistent with the 2016 date.
“Sustainability analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office were approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2016 under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan.
“Accordingly, I have attached for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Minister of Finance, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan for which legislative approval is currently being sought.
“I have also directed the Minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”