Reps give condition to approve Buhari’s $4bn loan request

The House of Representatives has said it will only approve the request from the executive to borrow $4 billion and €710 million from bilateral and multilateral organisations if he furnishes it with details of the proposed loan.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking the approval of the National Assembly to borrow another $4 billion ($4,054,476,863) and €710 million to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget.

He also asked the lawmakers to approve grant components of $125 million.

But addressing the media on Thursday, spokesman for the House, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu (APC, Abia) said the House has decided that it would only approve the loan on the condition that details of how it will be spent are provided.

He said: “The president’s request of $4billion; we are looking at approving it on the condition that the details of its implementation are clearly spelt out. Of course, the loan request is in the MTEF but we need to do our job.”

Asked if the House was not concerned with the mounting debt, Kalu responded: “We are as concerned as you are. But Nigeria is not isolated from the global impact of COVID-19. Every economy in the world was impacted and the Nigerian economy was also affected.

“The problem is not just getting a loan. It is what the loan is meant for – the borrowing plan. You have to come and convince us, the 360 constituencies. It is only when we are satisfied that we can approve the loan”.

He disclosed that the legislature is working hand in hand with the executive to shore up the revenue profile of the country because of the adverse effects of COVID-19 adding that the House would carry out a needs assessment of the 2022 budget before its appropriation.”


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