President Muhammadu Buhari has again written the Senate, seeking for the approval of fresh borrowing to the tune of $4,054,476,863 and €710 million in an addendum to the 2018-2020 borrowing plan.
The letter was read during plenary today, Tuesday by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan as Buhari is asking the National Assembly to approve grant components of $125 million.
Mr Buhari also explained that the need to borrow more funds is to meet “emerging needs” of some “critical projects.”
“The distinguished senate president may recall that I submitted a request on 2018-2020 borrowing plan for the approval of the senate in May 2021.
“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as of June 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan.
“The projects listed in the external borrowing plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD in the total sum of $4,054,476,863 and €710 million and grant components of $125 million,” part of the letter read.
The president said the loans, when obtained, will stimulate the economy and create job employment.
His recent loan request comes barely two months after the National Assembly approved his earlier request to borrow $8.3 billion and €490 million loans contained in the initial 2018-2020 borrowing plan.
The lawmakers had said the needed funds were meant for projects geared towards the realisation of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan that cut across key sectors such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and food security, energy, COVID-19, among others.
However, FG’s penchant for borrowings has been criticized by some analysts and stakeholders who say they are no visible results by way of infrastructure to justify it.
faulted the latest National Bureau of Statistics report which stated that the country’s economy has recorded a five per cent growth to Gross Domestic Product growth.
He added that growth with rising poverty in the country was meaningless.
Obi spoke on Sunday evening when he featured on a Channels Television programme, ‘Politics Today’.
He specifically said rather than celebrating growth to GDP, which had no impact in the citizenry, the Federal Government should stop borrowing for consumption and face investment.
The former governor said the fact that the Federal Government had been borrowing money and spending it on consumption had not made the NBS report to make significant impact in the lives of an average Nigerian.
Obi noted that the Federal Government should concentrate on the small and medium enterprises, education as well as target its citizens in the Diaspora if it really wanted to make significant impact in the lives of its citizenry.
According to Obi, “The type of growth I want to see is the one that will pull Nigerians out of poverty by making the people to have disposable income and be able to feed themselves.
“We need the type of growth that will educate our children, provide primary health care for all the communities. We don’t need growth based on speculations that government officials are celebrating all over the places.”
Obi insisted that growth to GDP could only be celebrated in a country when people are happy with their disposable income and be able to take good care of themselves and members of their family.
He said, “The biggest engine for economic growth is the micro, small, medium enterprises. That is the practice all over the World.
“That engine today is not being supported in Nigeria. Nigeria has a total of 40 million SMEs but there is not properly articulated fiscal and monetary policy to support the critical sector.
“The entire loan to private sector on Nigeria today is about N30trn. Less than N1.5trn is going to the SMEs. This is less than five per cent of the entire loan. This means Nigeria is not supporting its engine that can enhance the nation’s economic growth.
“The SMEs are the biggest employer of labour in many advanced countries of the world. We need fiscal monetary policies that would invest in this engine of growth in order to create jobs.”