Disagreement in Senate over Buhari’s $22.7bn loan request 


There was tension on the floor of the Senate on Thursday as opposition senators demanded to know details of the $22.7bn foreign loan request from the President. 

This followed the consideration of the report by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts. 

Chairman of the committee, Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo), read out the report and recommended that the Senate approve the request. 

He however submitted the report without the details of the projects to be funded with the money. 

Buhari had asked the eighth National Assembly to approve $29.96bn for his regime but the assembly refused because according to them no detailed document accompanied the request. 

The request was presented again by the Buhari regime last December but was reduced to $22.7bn, claiming that the eighth National Assembly actually approved about $6bn out of the money. 

Both the Majority and Minority leaders, Abdulahi Yahaya and Enyinnaya Abaribe, suggested that the report be considered part by part to avail the senators the full knowledge of every line item and details of the bill. 

The suggestion was however turned down by Lawan who said the report of the panel should not be subjected to debate, based on the rules of the Senate. 

Obviously uncomfortable with the position of LawanAbaribe warned the presiding officer that going ahead to hoodwink the Senate into passing the multi-billion dollar loan request without the details would spell doom for the country. 

The decision to discuss behind closed doors was preceded by back and forth arguments between lawmakers and the Senate President which lasted for over half an hour. 

 Sen. Yahaya moved that the Senate goes into a closed-door session for further deliberations, which was adopted. 

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