President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to approve a request to borrow $7.8billion and €100 million as part of the 2022 – 2024 borrowing plan of the Federal Government.
The president made the request in a letter read by the Senate President Godswill Akpabio during plenary session.
Tinubu said the Federal Executive Council under former President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the loan facility on May 15, 2023 to finance infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, insecurity and other sectors.
He said, “The Senate is invited to note that following the removal of fuel subsidy and its impact on the economy in the country, African Development Bank (AFDB) and the World Bank Group (WBG) have indicated interest to assist the country in mitigating the economic shocks and recent reforms with a sum of $1 billion and $2 billion respectively in addition to the Federal Executive Council approved 2022-2024 external borrowing plan.
“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $7,864,508,559 and in terms of euro, €100 million euros.”
President Tinubu further explained that the foreign loan has become necessary to bridge the financial gap and return the economic activities of the country to normalcy.
The funds, he said, would be used to develop infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, security and employment as well as financial management reforms.
“The project cuts across all sectors with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, security and employment as well as financial management reforms, among others.
“The total facility of the projects and programmes under the borrowing plan is $7,864,508,559 dollars and then in Euro, 100 million euros respectively,” the President said.
He said the projects to be funded with the money were selected based on economic evaluation and socio economic development of the country.
He noted that all the projects will be implemented across the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory.
Tinubu said: “I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes borrowing plans were selected based on positive technical economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, skills acquisitions, supporting the emergence of more entrepreneurs, poverty reduction and food security to improve the livelihood of an average Nigerian.
“The projects and programmes will be implemented in all the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory.
“In view of the present economic realities facing the country, it has become imperative that we resort to using the external borrowing to bridge the financing gap which will be applied to key infrastructure projects including power, railway, health among others
“Given the nature of these facilities and the need to consolidate the country to normalcy, it has become exigent to request the Senate’s consideration and approval of the 2022-2024 external borrowing plans to enable the government deliver its responsibilities to Nigerians through expeditious disbursement and efficient project implementation.”