OrderPaperToday – President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday sent a correspondence to the National Assembly proposing to borrow $5.513 billion to enable his administration fund some special projects and address the country’s food security issues per COVID-19.
This request by the President is coming same day he formally sent the revised version of the 2020 budget to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
The letter by the President was titled: ‘Request for approval for external borrowing to finance the proposed revised 2020 budget, for priority projects of the federal government and for projects to support the state governments’.
The President explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up more economic challenges as also being currently experienced by other countries of the world.
According to him, “as the House of Representatives may be aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in economic and fiscal challenges for many countries. Nigeria has also been affected in this regard, especially with the lower demand for crude oil, which has affected our sales and the sharp decline in the price of oil below USD25 per barrel, which is much lower than the USD57 per barrel benchmark in the 2020 Appropriation Act. The COVID-19 pandemic has also created the need for additional expenditure in Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (2020-2022).”
The President also stated that, that the 2020 draft revised proposed budget has higher deficit and therefore in order to finance the deficit, the federal government was planning to raise funds from both domestic and external sources.
According to him, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would make available the sum of $3,400,000,000.00 billion, while it relies on the World Bank to borrow $1,500,000,000.00.
He said the borrowing also includes the sum of $500,000,000.00 from African Development Bank (AfDB) and $113,000,000.00 from the Islamic Development Bank.