Senate denies approving N850bn loan for Buhari

The Senate on Thursday, April 30; explained it did not approve a “fresh loan of N850 billion” for President Muhammadu Buhari during its special plenary session on Tuesday.

This was contained in a statement issued by the new Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs; Senator Ajibola Basiru, in a statement in Abuja.

Basiru explained that what the Senate did was to pass a resolution to vary the terms of the approval it earlier gave for the loan request.

He further stated that the Senate approved that the N850billion be sourced from the domestic capital market as against external sources.

The statement titled: “No Fresh Loan of N850bn Approved by the Senate” reads; “It is very important to make a very important clarification particularly; as the widely circulated erroneous report that the Senate approved a fresh loan of N850 billion at the Plenary on Tuesday.

“That is far from the truth. The resolution passed was an amendment of the earlier resolution as to the source of the initial N850bn loan that had been approved to be part of what should be used to fund the 2020 Appropriation Act.

“You will recall that the Senate had actually approved the loan of N850 billion; but to be sourced from external sources.

“However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and of the challenge in the international oil market with the attendant challenges of raising the approved loan externally; the President requested that the approved loan should rather be raised through the Domestic Capital Market.

“It was the above request as to sourcing the earlier approved external borrowing of N850bn from Domestic Capital Market that was approved by the Senate.”

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund, IMF on Tuesday approved a sum of $3.4 billion to the CBN via a Rapid Financial Instrument to Nigeria. The loans come at a period when countries across the world are battling with the Covid-19 pandemic and the crash in crude oil prices.

This was contained in a press release issued by the organisation on Wednesday, April 29.

The body acknowledged that Nigeria was on the path to unifying its exchange rata and moving towards a flexible exchange rate regime.

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