Nigeria: $30bn loan request stopped by Saraki to be passed by Lawan
In 2016, when Bukola Saraki was Nigeria’s Senate President, the upper legislative house rejected a bogus loan request, to the tune of $30 billion by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senators said the chamber rejected the bill to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap.
But three years down the line, when another crop of senators are on the saddle, there are clear indications that the same bill will scale through the senate on Wednesday.
Buhari recently re-forwarded the failed bill to the Senate to reconsider and approve the federal government’s 2016 to 2018 external borrowing plan.
The loan, he said, is to execute key infrastructural projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.
Saraki’s successor, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday, gave a clear indication yet that the Senate would pass a $29.96 billion loan request
Lawan, while addressing journalists in Abuja, said the Senate would approve the loan request but would ensure adequate oversight.
“We are going to be critical that every cent that is borrowed is tied to a project,” Mr Lawan said in response to a question by a journalist.
A similar request by Mr Buhari to the 8th Senate led by Bukola Saraki was rejected.
While reacting to the 2016 rejection, Mr Lawan, who was then a senator, said the Senate was right then to have rejected the loan request.
“In 2016, there were no sufficient details,” he said, adding that “the executive has learnt its lessons.”
Mr Lawan said Mr Buhari had provided necessary details of what the loan would be used for in his new request.
“The letter conveying the loan request of the executive came with every possible details,” he said.