Osinbajo Seeks Permission From Senate To Borrow $1.49bn

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the acting President, has notified the Senate of his intention to obtain foreign loan to the tune of $1.492,400,000.00 for projects and other programmes in 10 states of the federation,and he’s therefore seeking for their approval. The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on the floor of the Senate yesterday,read the request which was contained in a letter which forms part of 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan earlier sent to the upper chamber.
According to the letter dated May 25, 2017 and entitled, “Re: Federal Executive Council Approval of the 2016-2018 External Borrowing( Rolling) Plan,” the request for the separation of state projects from other items in the borrowing plan is expedient. It further stated that there was an urgent need to provide structural and social amenities for the citizens in Enugu, Ogun, Ebonyi, Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna, Abia, Ondo, Kano, and Plateau states.
In the letter which he personally signed, the acting President said the loan would be meant for the provision of water, health, agriculture and infrastructural development. He added that the funding would be sourced from African Development Bank, French Development Agency, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank at low interest rates. The letter read in part: “I write in reference to my earlier letter requesting for the consideration and approval of the Senate for the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan and ro request the Senate to separate the States’ Projects from the items listed in the Borrowing Plan with a view to giving them accelerated consideration. “The affected states and the list of projects are as follows: A. the World Bank Assisted Project- Kaduna State development policy operation (DPO)-250 million dollars, Ogun State Development Policy Operation-350 million dollars. “B. African Development Bank-Ebonyi Ring Road Project, which is to be both financed by the Islamic Development Bank-70 million dollars, Rural Access and Mobility Project, Abia State-100 million dollars. “C. Islamic Development Bank-Health System Project, Katsina State-110 million dollars, Integrated Rural Development Project, Jigawa State-32.4 million dollars. “Ring Road Project, Ebonyi-80 million dollars, Integrated Agricultural and Water Resources Development, Kano-200 million dollars. “D. French Development Agency-Third National Urban Water Sector Reform Projects in Enugu, Kano, Plateau and Ondo-200 million dollars. “ The total loans for the states being presented for consideration and approval is 1,492,400. The Senate President, you may wish to know that the request for the separation of the states’ projects from the list became imperative, in view of the current economic realities in the country and the pressing needs of these states to provide infrastructure and social amenities for their citizens. ‘’The total loans for the states being presented for special consideration and approval is $1,492,400,000.00 as listed in paragraph 1 above. “It will be highly appreciated if you could kindly give this request an expedited consideration and approval to enable the states meet up with all other effective conditions for the implementation of the projects in their respective states.”
The loan request is expected to be the subject of debate this week before it would be referred to the Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, led by Senator Shehu Sani, APC, Kaduna Central.

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