Again, Buhari asks Senate to approve 2016-2018 external borrowing plan

Yusuf Bello| President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday asked the senate to approve the federal government’s 2016-2018 external borrowing plan.

The president’s request was contained in a letter he sent to Senate President Ahmad Lawan and read during the plenary session.

The letter urged the lawmakers to approve the loan which he said is “critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes”.

The letter read: “While I have transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the eight National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature.

“Only the federal government’s emergency projects for the North East’s four states projects and one China…assistant railway modernisation projects for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of the total of 39 projects.

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“Outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water, and educational sectors.”

“Accordingly, I have attached for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Minister of Finance, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan for which legislation approval is currently sought.”

“I have also directed the minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”

It will be recalled that the president first sent the loan request estimated at $29.960 billion in 2016, but it was rejected by the senate under the leadership of Bukola Saraki, the former Senate president.

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