- Loans were intended to fund projects which cut across sectors
President Bola Tinubu has written the House of Representatives, seeking the approval for the Federal Government to borrow $ 8.699 billion and €100m in the 2022-2024 external borrowing plan.
The President also asked the House to grant him audience to present the proposed N27.5trillion budget for the 2024 financial year before a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.
The President’s requests were contained in two separate letters addressed to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, who read the correspondences at resumed plenary on Tuesday.
He said the loans were intended to fund projects which cut across sectors, particularly infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management. among others.
“I write with reference to above subject matter and to submit the attached Federal Government 2022-2024 external borrowing rolling plan for consideration and approval of the National Assembly to ensure optimum implementation of the budget.
“The Honourable members may wish to know that the past administration approved the 2022 -2024 borrowing plan at the Federal Executive Council held on 15 May, 2023.
“Following the removal of the fuel subsidy and its attendant impact on our economy, African Development Bank and the World bank group have indicated interest in assisting the country to mitigate the impact with the sum of one billion USD and 1.5 billion USD respectively; in addition to the FEC approved 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing plan.
“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of 8, 699, 168, 559 USD, and 100 million Euros.
“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on positive technical economic evaluation as well as the expected contribution to the socio-economic development of the country including employment generation, skills acquisition, support towards the emergence of young entrepreneurs, poverty reduction and food security to improve the livelihood in all 36 states and the FCT.
“Considering the huge infrastructure deficit in the country and the enormous financial resources required to bridge the gap in funding infrastructure in the face of dwindling financial resources, it has become imperative that we resort to prudent external borrowing to bridge the financial gap which will be largely be applied to key infrastructure projects including power, railway, health among others.
“Given the nature of these facilities and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary to request the House of Representatives to consider and approve the 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibilities to Nigerians through expedient disbursement and efficient project implementation.
“I hereby forward the proposed 2022-2024 external borrowing plan and trust that it would receive judicious consideration and passage of the House of Representatives,” the letter read.
In the second letter, President Tinubu said: “May I crave the kind indulgence of the House of Representatives to grant me the …1100 hours on Wednesday, 29th November 2023, to formally present the 2024 appropriation bill to a joint session of the National Assembly. While I look forward to addressing the joint session, please accept Rt Hon Speaker, the assurances of my highest regard.”