Senate approves Buhari's request to borrow $5.5bn

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Senate approves Buhari's request to borrow $5.5bn

The Senate on Tuesday gave approval for the federal government to secure two external borrowings totalling $5.5 billion and which will allow the government to pay down the equivalent of $3 billion dollars in domestic debt.

The president had in a letter on October 10, requested the upper chamber to approve $3 billion external loan and $2.5 billion Eurobond or Diaspora bond in the global market.

The $5.5 billion is to be used for refinancing of maturing domestic debt obligations of $3 billion, while $2.5 billion is for the financing of the 2017 Appropriation Act. He added that the $2.5 billion will create more borrowing space for the private sector. "And that the projects, when completed, will create jobs through a chain of economic activities". He said the government will also reduce the nation's debt burden when it refinances local debts with funds sourced from foreign financial institutions.

"The Mamblilla hydro power project which has always been abandoned when completed will add substantially to the national grids thus improve power output of the country".

He said, "This Senate will continue to partner with the Federal Government in matters that concern the ordinary people of Nigeria".

Ekweremadu said: "The implementation of the 2017 budget is key". His letter read in part " The Senate may wish to know that the proceeds of the proposed issuance of Eurobonds and and Diaspora bonds in the ICM will be used to finance the deficit of the 2017 appropriation act and provide funding for capital projects in the budget.

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