By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday approved the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to raise Eurobonds worth $2.786 billion.
The proposed external borrowing is mainly to fund part of the 2018 budget signed into law in June 2018 by the President.
Last week, Mr Buhari, in a letter to the National Assembly, had requested the resolutions of the parliament to approve the borrowing.
At the plenary today, the Senate said President Buhari can go ahead with the external borrowing through the issuance of the Eurobond.
This was after Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Mr Shehu Sani, submitted his report.
The upper legislative chamber also approved the request by the executive to borrow $82.54 million from external institutions to refinance the balance of $500 million matured Eurobond in the international capital market.
While speaking during plenary today, the Senate Leader, Mr Ahmad Lawan, stated that, “Let us ensure we carry out oversight functions to make sure these funds are used for their purpose in growing the country.”
On his part, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said, “I thank the committee for their work. It is important we see to it that these monies are utilized,” while Senate Barau Jibrin said, “The Committee on Finance should ensure the monies are released immediately.”
In his remains, the Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, said the various committees in the Senate should carryout extensive oversight on the various MDAs to ensure that the previous loans that have been granted are properly utilised.
“Before the end of the week, we will fix a date where all our committees will carry out oversight to ensure that all the previous loans have been properly utilised,” he said.
”I thank the committee and all distinguished Senators for the cooperation with the executive to ensure that we quickly pass this loan to ensure the proper funding of the 2018 budget,” Mr Saraki added.
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