The Nigerian Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari's request to borrow $5.5 billion from foreign sources.
Buhari in October had written to the Senate, asking for the approval of an External loan of $5.5 billion to enable the Federal government finance the 2017 budget. "The projects when completed will create jobs through exchange of downstream economic activities".
"The construction of the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe worldwide airport will enhance the safety of the air passengers, increase the use of airports by global airlines thus increase the revenue of the government". He said the government will also reduce the nation's debt burden when it refinances local debts with funds sourced from foreign financial institutions. "Let me say that we need to urge the DMO to ensure that our debt profile is watched and that we do not exceed or overblow our debt".
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"The Mambilla hydro-power project which had now been abandoned, when completed, will add substantially to the national grid thus improve the power output of the country".
Ashafa, elected to represent the Lagos East senatorial district on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said the federal government led by the APC was working to deliver the dividends of democracy to all Nigerians across the 6 geo-political zones of the country.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the session stated that the Senate would continue to work with the executive arm of government to ensure that the objective of the 2017 budget is achieved.
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"The implementation of the 2017 budget is key because any Appropriation Act that is not implemented is worthless".
"It should be noted that the intention is to issue the Eurobonds first, with the objective of raising all the funds through Eurobonds, and that Diaspora Bonds will only be issued where the full amount can not be raised through Eurobonds".
"Again, if we single them out, they cover power, rail, roads, even building bridges across the various water channels and the issue of the second run way".
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The letter read in part, "Accordingly, the Senate is requested to kindly approve the following external borrowings: Issuance of $2.5bn in International Capital Market through Eurobonds or a combination of Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds for the financing of the Federal Government of Nigeria's 2017 Appropriation Act and capital expenditure projects in the Act".