THE Senate, on Thursday, referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for external loan of $5.5 billion, comprising $3 billion for re-financing domestic maturing debts and the issuance of a $2.5 billion Eurobond for the funding of the 2017 capital budget to its committee on foreign and local debt.
The motion was moved by the Senate Leader, Senate Ahmad Lawan and seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, then referred the matter to Senate Committee on Foreign local Debts, chaired by Senator Shehu Sani and to report back in two weeks.
Senator Sani said his committee would be guided by experts and public opinions before arriving at its recommendations for consideration.
In a post on his tweeter handle on Thursday, the lawmaker added that project value and the loan conditions would also influence the committee’s decision on the Federal Government’s loan request.
President Buhari had sought the approval of the National Assembly for the external borrowings in separate letters to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.
Justifying the loan request, Buhari, in the letter, said the $3 billion being sought from the international capital market (ICM) would be deployed to refinance maturing domestic debt to achieve more stability in the country’s debt stock and create more borrowing space in the domestic market for the private sector.