By Stanley Ugagbe
Nigeria’s debt is set to appreciate again as President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate and the House of Representatives, seeking approval for a fresh loan of $5.513 billion.
The Nigerian Canadian News gathered that in a letter read by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the plenary, the president said the loan was to finance the 2020 budget deficit, financing of critical projects, and supporting some states of the federation.
A similar letter was read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan during the Senate plenary.
According to Buhari, the Federal Government is also planning to raise money externally and internally.
The external loan is $5.513 billion; $3.4bn will come from the IMF, $1.5 from the World Bank, $500m from (AfDB), and $113m from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
Delineating on the development as contained in the letter, Buhari succinctly averred that the assumptions in the 2020 budget are no longer attainable given the slump in oil prices and lower demand for crude oil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President also presented a revised 2020 Appropriation Bill and 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the Senate.
The Nigerian number one citizen is asking the Senate to give an expedited passage of the revised 2020 budget and MTEF because of the urgency of the situation.
The Senate has, however, suspended its rules and commenced the second reading of the revised budget, the MTEF, and the FSP.
It would be recalled that the house had earlier in May given approval for the president to borrow N850 billion for the government. The Senate earlier approved the N850 billion in April.
According to the Debt Management Office, that N850 billion loan was not new but a conversion of a planned external loan to domestic borrowing.
Meanwhile another loan of $22.79 billion, which the Senate has already approved, is pending before the House.