- The latest loan requested by President Muhammadu Buhari will be given accelerated approval by the Nigerian Senate
- This is due to a directive from Senate President Ahmad Lawan asking the committee in charge to give approval speedily
- The Senate committee on foreign and local debts has been given 14 days (two weeks) to grant the president's request
FCT, Abuja - Senate President Ahmad Lawan has given the Senate committee on foreign and local debts 14 days within which to process President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a fresh ₦2.343 trillion for approval.
Lawan gave the directive at the commencement of the Senate plenary session on Tuesday, June 1.
The Senate President's directive was handed down to the committee after the Senate Majority leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, drew the attention of Lawan to the pending request.
Details of the proceedings were shared on the Twitter page of the Nigerian Senate and seen by Legit.ng.
Legit.ng gathered that the committee had approved a total of $28 billion so far and the current request will take the total loan approved to $35.683 billion.
In requesting the new loan, President Buhari said the funds will be used to finance the 2021 budget deficit of N5.6trillion.
The committee is headed by Senator Clifford Ordia, a Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker from Edo state.
The Buhari-led government has been criticised by economic experts who frown at the administration's penchant for taking loans.
Some Nigerians have also reacted to the stance of the Senate President concerning the loans via social media.
Mike Nwokeji wrote on Facebook:
“While not a fan of Senator Saraki, at least, that body resisted rubber stamping some of the excesses of the president. This man there is clueless, and has no business holding such a high position. The whole country is being led by incompetent group of people. What a tragedy.”
Johnson Ajayi wrote:
“Another borrowing for what? Why don't the government use the external reserves for development instead of ruining the future of the unborn in the country? I weep for the country.”
Ojigbo Ethan wrote:
“The task of the Lawan led Senate of the 9th assembly is primarily to approve loans. What a shame.”
Okwosi Collins wrote:
“This Senate is just about approval of loans, it's either we wise up or we won't have anything left as a country.”
Kizito Gokir wrote:
“I expect the government to pursue the looted funds abroad immediately, rather than taking a fresh loan, when we have free money abroad. It's better to collect the looted funds and share rather than collecting loans to share. The government has NOT earned the trust of the citizenry.”
Recall that three months ago, the federal government justified taking loans from international financial institutions and leading counties across the world.
Minister of finance, budget, and national planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, said the country is taking loans in order to improve Nigeria's business environment and its economy.
Ahmed made this disclosure on Thursday, February 26, during the inaugural edition of the weekly special ministerial media briefing organised by the presidential communications team.
Meanwhile, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has boasted that no Nigerian president has ever accomplished what the Buhari-led administration has achieved since coming into power in 2015.
Alhaji Mohammed made the comment at a media briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, June 1 focused on the mid-term report of the administration's second term in office.
According to him, the current administration has achieved so much despite the paucity of funds at its disposal.