Fred Itua, Abuja
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday granted a speedy approval to President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow a fresh loan of N850 billion to finance the 2020 budget.
Buhari in a letter urged the Senate to approve the loan in line with provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The president’s request was contained in a letter read on the floor of the Senate by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
According to Mr Buhari, the fresh loan will be sourced from the Nigerian Domestic Capital Market to help fund critical capital projects, following the sharp fall in the price of crude oil.
The outbreak of COVID-19, which has led to low demand for oil in the global markets, has affected the implementation of the 2020 budget.
According to the president, in light of the global economy, it was necessary to source the new loan from the domestic market at this time. He pointed out that the conditions were favourable.
The Senate considered Mr Buhari’s request and unanimously granted approval, bypassing the usual rigorous committee scrutiny and public hearings.
It, however, mandated its relevant committees to liaise with Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed on the modalities for the loan.