Again, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari reopen and submitted the $30 billion Economic Stimulus Infrastructure Fund loan which was formally rejected by the eighth Senate, for urgent approval.
In a letter read at the Senate plenary on Thursday, President Buhari informed the Senate that the borrowed funds will fund 39 emergency projects in the Power, Agriculture, Transport and Mining sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The letter, address to President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, reads:
“Request for the National Assembly to re-consider and approve the Federal Government’s 2016 and 2018 External Borrowing Plan.
“Pursuant to section 21 and Section 27 of the Debt Management Office Establishment Act.
“I hereby request for resolution of the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s 2016 and 2018 external borrowing plan as well as relevant projects under this plan.
“Specifically the senate is invited to note that while, I had transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the 8th 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 Exim Bank assisted railway modernisation project for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of a total of 39 projects.
“The outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless critical to the delivery of government policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.
“These outstanding projects are well advanced in terms of their preparation consistent to the 2016 debt analysis undertaken by DMO and were approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in August 2016 under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan.
“Accordingly, I have attached for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Honourable Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016 -2018 external borrowing plan for which the legislative approval is been 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.
“While, hoping that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration by the Senate, please accept distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration,’’ the letter stated.
Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a separate letter, sought the consideration and passage into law by the Senate, the Companies and Allied matters Act Bill 2019.
The letter states: “Pursuant to the Section 58 of Constitution of Federal of Nigeria 1999 as amended I hereby forward the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2019 for consideration and passage into law by the Senate.
“The Senate may wish to note that in this, bill Section 26 Sub-section 5 of the act has been amended to preserve the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to approve the registration of companies limited by guarantee.
“It also reflects the ease of doing business principles in Executive Order No 1 of 2017 on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment.”
The eight Senate had rejected the request to raise $29.9 billion in foreign loans over a three-year period.
The request was thrown out without being subjected to debate through a voice vote, after the motion for its consideration was moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume.