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$5.5 Billion Loan: Buhari Seeks National Assembly Approval

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sought National Assembly approval for external loan of $5.5 billion to finance the 2017 budget.

Buhari’s request is contained in a letter read on the floor of the Senate by Senate President Bukola Saraki.

While $3 billion would be sourced through Euro bond, the remaining $2.5 is expected to come from other sources in the international capital market.

The 2017 budget is predicated on a debt deficit of N2.1 trillion which Nigeria hopes to secure from both local and external sources to fund the country’s infrastructure deficit.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and her counterpart in the Ministry of National Planning and Budget, Udoma Udo Udoma had last year appealed for urgent resolution of the National Assembly to secure the external borrowing, explaining that the loans have become imperative for Nigeria to fix priority projects such as roads, power and National Security.

Senate had also last week stepped down the recommendation of its Committee to consider the issue of external borrowing for the executive on grounds that it was yet to receive any formal request in that regards.

While the President’s letter fulfills Senate condition; analysts fear that another loan could make heavier Nigeria’s debt profile.

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