Buhari seeks parliamentary nod on $23 billion in foreign loans

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday asked National Assembly to approve $22.72 billion of foreign borrowings tied to infrastructure and other projects. In the letter sent to the parliament by President Buhari indicated that the 8th National Assembly did not approve a $30 billion external borrowing plan in its entirety. Rather, a $4.5 billion Eurobond sale was approved alongside five projects out of a total of 39.
He asked for the lower house to reconsider and approve the external borrowing plan for 2016-2018 as well as projects tied to the funds, he said in the letter.
The government has said it wanted to borrow more from abroad so that 40% of its loans come from offshore sources by 2019 to lower cost and help fund its record budgets.
Buhari plans to spend 10.33 trillion naira ($33.8 billion) next year, a 17% increase over this year’s budget.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said it had no plans to use the international debt market in 2019 after its sixth Eurobond sale a year earlier.
However, the debt office has said the government plans to tap cheap concessionary loans this year.
The new borrowings are tied to projects supported by the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, German Development Bank and China EXIMBank.
“Outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are … critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors,” Buhari said.

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