The Senate, on Wednesday, approved the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow N2.3 trillion (about $6.183 billion) to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget.
The approval followed consideration of report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo).
Buhari had, in May, sought the approval of the National Assembly to source the fund from multiple avenues, including multilateral and bilateral lenders, as well as the International Capital Market (ICM) via issuance of Eurobonds.
He explained that the loan would enable the Federal Government fund critical infrastructural projects in transportation, health and education, among others.
The Senate approved the president request for the issuance of $3 billion but not more than $6.1 billion Eurobond in the International Capital Market for the implementation of the external borrowing of N2.3 trillion to finance part of the deficit authorised in the 2021 Appropriation Act.
The Red Chamber also approved the committee’s recommendation that the amount be raised from multiple sources such as the International Capital Market and any other Multilateral or Bilateral sources.
It also directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Director General of the Debt Management Office and the Governor the Central Bank of Nigeria to submit to the National Assembly, within 10 working days, a letter containing the United State Dollars amount raised and received as a result of the above approval together with the applicable exchange rate.
The Senate, also, on Wednesday, passed the N895.84 billion supplementary budget of the federal government, after considering the report of the Committee on Appropriation on the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2021.
The Appropriation Committee Chairman, Senator Jibrin Barau, presented the report at Plenary.
President Buhari about two weeks ago transmitted a supplementary Appropriation Bill for N895,842,465,917 billion to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
He explained that the proposed amount would be used to fund the COVID-19 vaccine programme; health related expenditures for treatment of additional 50,000 patients under the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Program in states; and procure additional equipment captured in this year’s capital expenditure on Defence and Security to tackle prevalent security challenges across the country.