‘That is far from the truth’ — Senate explains Buhari’s N850bn request not a new loan

The Senate has explained that the N850bn loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari which was approved by the red chamber on Tuesday was not new as suggested in some quarters.

The Senate unanimously approved the President’s loan request aimed at funding the 2020 budget.

Following the development, there were claims in some quarters that the approved loan request was a fresh application, raining concerns over the country’s debt profile which has been on the rise.

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But reacting to such speculations in a statement on Thursday, Senate Spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, said such rumours were untrue.

According to him: “It is very important to make a very important clarification particularly as the widely circulated erroneous report that the Senate approved a fresh loan of N850 billion at the Plenary on Tuesday.

“That is far from the truth. The resolution passed was an amendment of the earlier resolution as to the source of the initial N850bn loan that had been approved to be part of what should be used to fund the 2020 Appropriation Act.

“You will recall that the Senate had actually approved the loan of N850 billion but to be sourced from external sources. However, because of the covid-19 Pandemic and of the challenge in the international oil market with the attendant challenges of raising the approved loan externally, the President requested that the approved loan should rather be raised through the Domestic Capital Market.

“It was the above request as to sourcing the earlier approved external borrowing of N850bn from Domestic Capital Market that was approved by the Senate.”

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