OrderPaperToday– President Muhammadu Buhari has sought the reconsideration and approval of the federal government’s 2016-2018 external borrowing plan rejected by the 8th Senate.
The 8th Assembly had considered a total of 39 requests forwarded by the executive but only approved the federal government’s emergency projects in four north eastern states and one China Nexim Bank assisted railway modernisation project for Lagos-Ibadan segment.
In a letter read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Thursday during plenary, Buhari said his request was pursuant to Sections 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office Establishment Etc, Act.
The letter stated, “I hereby request for resolutions of the Senate approve the federal government’s 2016-2018 external borrowing plan as well as relevant projects under this plan.
“Specifically, the Senate is invited to note that
a. While i have transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the eight National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature. Only the federal government’s emergency projects for the North East’s four states projects and one China Nexim assistant railway modernisation projects for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of the total of 39 projects.
“b. That outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.
“These outstanding budgets are well-advanced in terms of the preparation, consistent with the 2016 debt sustainability analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office and were approved by the Federal Executive Council in August, 2016, under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan.
“Accordingly, I have attached for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Minster of Finance, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan for which legislation approval is currently sought.
“I have also directed the minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”