Senate backs president Buhari’s request for $5.5 bln in external borrowing


ABUJA, June 2 – Nigeria’s upper chamber of parliament on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for $5.51 billion in external borrowing from international lenders.

The borrowing is part of a revised budget for 2020. The revisions allow for the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a sharp drop in oil prices, which has dented Nigeria’s spending plans because oil sales make up 90% of its foreign exchange earnings.

The money from the International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank is to fund the deficit.

“As regards the IMF loan, there are no usual onerous conditions for borrowing, such as currency devaluation and deregulation of certain sectors of the economy attached to this loan,” a Senate committee on the loans stated.

Buhari submitted a revised budget of 10.51 trillion naira ($29.19 billion) to parliament last week for approval. Lawmakers can make changes to the budget, before it is sent back to the president to pass into law should he agree to any revisions.

Borrowing requests must be approved separately by lawmakers.

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