President Bola Tinubu has written to the House of Representatives for approval of external loans to the tune of $8, 699, 168, 559 and £100 million euros.
The President’s letter was read by the Speaker Tajudeen Abbas during plenary on Tuesday.
According to the letter, the loan is a component of the Federal Government’s 2022-2024 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan.
The letter, titled “Request for Approval for the Federal Government 2022-2024 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan”, was dated 24th November 2023.
The President said in the face of dwindling financial resources, it has become imperative to resort to prudent external borrowing to bridge the financial gap which will largely be applied to key infrastructure projects including power, railway, health among others.
He said following the removal of the fuel subsidy and its attendant impact on the economy, African Development Bank and the World Bank Group had indicated interest in assisting the country to mitigate the impact with the sum of $1 billion and 1.5 billion USD respectively in addition to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing plan.
The letter reads, “I write with reference to the above subject and to submit the attached Federal Government 2022-2024 external borrowing rolling plan for consideration and approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the budget.
“The Honourable members may wish to know that the past administration approved the 2022 -2024 borrowing plan at the Federal Executive Council held on 15 May 2023. The projects cut across sectors with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth, security, and employment generation as well as financial management among others.
“Following the removal of the fuel subsidy and its attendant impact on our economy, African Development Bank and the World bank group have indicated interest in assisting the country to mitigate the impact with the sum of one billion USD and 1.5 billion USD respectively. In addition to the FEC approved 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing plan. Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of USD 8, 699, 168, 559 and 100 million euros.
“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on positive technical economic evaluation as well as the expected contribution to the socio-economic development of the country including employment generation, skills acquisition, support towards the emergence of more entrepreneurs, poverty reduction and food security to improve the livelihood in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Considering the huge infrastructure deficit in the country and the enormous financial resources required to bridge the gap in funding infrastructure in the face of dwindling financial resources, it has become imperative that we resort to prudent external borrowing to bridge the financial gap which will be largely be applied to key infrastructure projects including power, railway, health among others.
“Given the nature of these facilities and the need return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary to request the House of Representatives to consider and approve the 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing rolling plan to enable the government deliver its responsibilities to Nigerians through expeditious disbursement and efficient project implementation.”
The President also wrote to submit the supplementary statutory appropriation in the 2023 Statutory Appropriation Act of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
The President wrote that further to the review of the approach to carrying projects in the FCTA, the Minister had indicated that the extant approach may not be sufficient to deliver on the administration’s agenda.
“The House is accordingly invited to know that a number of infrastructural projects with potential to improve ease of transportation, provide gainful employment and ensure impact on FCT residents have been identified by the Honourable Minister,” it read.
However, he said, the current FCT statutory appropriation does not adequately capture the budget either in whole or in part, hence the supplementary appropriation to the 2023 statutory appropriation act for the FCTA was proposed.
This was as the House passed for second reading a Bill for an Act to Authorise the issuance from the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s Statutory Revenue Fund of the Federal Capital Territory Administration Account, the total sum of N61, 553, 778, 259, 93 of which the sum of N12, 900, 000, 000. 00 only is for Overhead Costs and the sum of N48, 653, 778, 260. 00 is for Capital Expenditure costs for the service of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for the Financial Year ending on 31 December 2023.
The President also wrote to inform the House that he will present the 2024 appropriation bill on Wednesday by 11am.