The House of Representatives has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $22.7billion from external sources.
The House Committee on Supply approved the loan request following the consideration of the report by the House Committee on loans and debt management.
It would be recalled that the report was slated for consideration earlier in February, however, the Southeast protested the composition of the projects, alleging exclusion of the Southeast.
The Speaker in a statement in March said the consideration of the report, which had been passed by the Senate was suspended because of agitation from the Southeast.
“I know there has been a lot of agitation about (the) South-east not benefiting from the loan. It is one of the reasons we haven’t considered the loan in the House. I’ve discussed with the Finance Minister and the DG Budget,” the statement read.
Speaking on the report, the chairman of the House committee on loans and debt management, Ahmed Safana said the committee is recommending the inclusion of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail line in the next list loan request.
The total loan approved by the House is $22,798,446,773 and to be sourced from the following: World bank; 2,854,000,000, Africa Development Bank: 1,888,950,000, Islamic Development Bank (IDB); 110,000,000, German Development Bank; 200,000,000, China Eximbank; 17,065,496,773, AFD; 480,000,000.
Speaking on behalf of the southeast caucus, the Deputy Whip of the House, Nkirukah Onyejeocha said the approval of the loan is a bitter pill to swallow for her and the southeast.
Also speaking on the loan, the Chief Whip said the Northeast will support the loan based on the agreement that the Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line will be in the next project.
The speaker in his reaction said his attempt to correct the defect proved abortive as the request is based on agreement.