Reps suspend consideration of Buhari’s $22.7bn loan request

The House of Representatives has indefinitely suspended the consideration of the $22.79bn external loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The House had listed the report by its Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the 2016–2018 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan as the last item for consideration on the order paper for Wednesday’s proceeding.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked that the consideration be stood down without giving a new date.

“We will step that down for today,” Gbajabiamila said, asking the Chairman, Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, to move for the standing down.

When asked to respond to the indefinite suspension of the loan request by the House, the Media Adviser to the Finance Minister, Mr Yunusa Abdullahi, said, “No comments please.”

The Speaker on Tuesday had announced that the loan would be considered on Wednesday.

He had made this known in reaction to a member of the House, Mr Henry Nwawuba, who presented a petition by a group of South-East elite, against the consideration and approval of the external loan.

The Senate last week approved the loan but not without protests from the opposition senators led by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

The funding agencies for the loan, according to the Senate panel, are the World Bank ($2,854,000,000), African Development Bank ($1,888,950,000), Islamic Development Bank ($110,000,000), Japan International Cooperation Agency ($200,000,000 ), German Development Bank ($200,000,000), China-Exim Bank ( $17,065,496,773), and the French Development Agency ($480,000,000).

Some of the projects to be funded with the loans are the Nigeria Electricity Transmission and Access Project ($364,000,000); Social Inclusion and Welfare Advancement project, renamed National Social Safety Net Project, ($500,000) and the Economic Reforms and Governance Project, renamed Fiscal Governance Project ($200,000,000).

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