Senate Denies Approving 'Fresh N850bn Loan' For Buhari

The 9th Senate did not grant a fresh approval of N850 billion to the Federal Government at its Tuesday plenary.

Senator Ajibola Basiru, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs made the clarification in a statement on Tuesday.

Senator Basiru said what the Senate did was to grant a fresh approval to source the N850bn loan locally, as he noted that the fund could not be sourced externally following the disruptions in the price of crude oil in the international market.

He further argued that "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."

The statement read in part:" 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."

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