- There was disagreement in the Senate over President Buhari's foreign loan of $22 billion
- The upper chamber on Thursday, March 5, started discussions on the external borrowing request
- The Senate majority and minority leaders are of the opinion that the report be considered part by part
A disagreement broke out at the floor of the Nigerian Senate on Thursday, March 5, after deliberations on the $22 billion external borrowing request by President Muhammadu Buhari commenced, Premium Times reports.
Clifford Ordia, the chairman of the committee who read out the report, suggested that the lawmakers approve the foreign loan request.
However, the decision to deliberate behind closed doors sparked a back and forth argument for over half an hour between lawmakers and the Senate president, Ahmed Lawan.
Abdulahi Yahaya and Enyinnaya Abaribe, the majority and minority leaders of the upper chamber, suggested that the report be considered part by part to allow the senators understand the details of the bill.
While the lawmakers continued to argue, the Senate president stated that the consideration will be done as he said which would be as whole and it will be put for a voice vote on the floor.
Yahaya moved that the Senate go into a closed-door session for further deliberations after minutes of silence and consultations. The senators are scheduled to come back soon and consider the loan request.
The president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, read Buhari's letter which contained the loan request during plenary on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Recall that the eighth Senate led by the former Senate president, Bukola Saraki, rejected the loan request in 2016.
Though no reason was given for the rejection of the loan at the time, there had been concerns over the state of Nigeria's internal and external borrowing.
In a related development, the Nigerian government has secured a loan of N805 billion ($2.2 billion) from the World Bank in a bid to resolve economic problems that some analysts believe has impeded the growth of the country.
The loan was approved for six projects to support human capital and economic development in Nigeria this year. Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank’s country director for Nigeria in a statement said: “World Bank is ramping up its support to Nigeria in its efforts to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.”
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