Senate approves $82.54 million Eurobond, warns Buhari against external borrowing

The Senate has approved $82.54 million to refinance the balance of $500 million matured Eurobond in the International Capital Market earlier requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The approval was made after the chairman of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Shehu Sani, presented the report of the committee after considering Mr Buhari’s request.

In a letter dated July 23 which was read by the Senate President last Tuesday, Mr Buhari sought the approval of the Senate to raise $2.78 billion from the International Capital Market for part-funding of the 2018 budget.

The president said the amount, approved in the 2018 Appropriation Act, would be used to finance deficits and key infrastructure projects in the 2018 budget. The loan, according to him, will be raised from Eurobonds and other securities in the international capital market.

In the same letter, Mr Buhari also sought legislative nod for an external capital sourcing of 82.54 million dollars to refinance the balance of $500 million matured Eurobonds in the international capital market.

Presenting the report, Mr Sani recommended that the Senate “approve the issuance of $2.786 billion from the International Capital Market approved in the 2018 Appropriation Act.”

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He also recommended that the Senate “approve the issuance of $82.54 million to refinance the balance of $500 million matured Eurobond in the International Capital Market.”

The lawmaker further advised “that the federal government should do everything possible to reduce or limit the request of all external borrowings and focus on generating revenues internally” – a recommendation which was adopted by the upper chamber.

The Senate also resolved that the committees carry out oversight functions on previous loans that have been granted by the chamber to ensure its effective implementation as requested.

The former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had last year told the Senate Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance that the inability to access foreign loans was a major impediment to funding of capital projects in the 2017 budget.

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