SENATE READY TO APPROVE BUHARI’S LOAN REQUEST OF $29.96 BILLION
On Monday, 16 December 2019 the senate president, Ahmad Lawan stated that the red chamber would approve the $29.96bn loan request of the President, General Muhammadu Buhari.
The president of the senate assured Nigerians that the loan request meant for the execution of key infrastructural projects would be efficiently utilized. “Yes, if you do not have money and you have projects that require you to provide the infrastructure that you need, nothing will really militate against passing the request. However, we are going to be critical, so that every cent borrowed is tied to a project,” he said.
He further said: “We will also ensure that these projects will have spillover effects on the economy and we will undertake our oversight to ensure such money is prudently applied on those projects.”
However, Lawan stated that the loan request was previously rejected by the eight senate led by Bukola Saraki due to a lack of comprehensive details.
“I want to inform this gathering and, indeed, Nigerians that the letter conveying the loan request of the executive came with every possible detail and, in fact, we will ensure that we are getting the right information from the executive arm of government. So, the situation is not the same.
“In 2016, there were no submissions of details. This time, I think the executive has learned its lesson and the letter came with sufficient details,” he said.
However, Lawan’s reason for the rejection of the loan request by the eight senates is contrary to that of the former lawmaker, Shehu Sani, who was the chairman of the committee on local and foreign debts in the 8th senate, he explained: “We turned down the FG loan request for $30 Billion to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap, we don’t want our country to be recolonized by creditor banks.”
If the loan would be efficiently channeled to the right projects as assured by the senate president, it may turn out to be a positive move for the Nigerian economy as infrastructural and developmental social projects will yield a multiplier effect such as job creation, more direct investment and wealth distribution if well managed.
However, this may further hinder the level of economic growth and development in the country. If the proposed loan request is misappropriated after approval, it will not only have negative spillover effects on the economy but it will increase the Nigerian external debt which will put the economy in a more devastating situation.