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Senate approves Buhari’s $5.513bn external loan request

The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s $5.513 billion external loan request to finance the revised 2020 budget.

The president’s request was approved after the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.

However, the upper legislative chamber stood down a component of the loan which the federal government said would help in the execution of its priority projects and to support state governments in stimulating their economy which had been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for lacking requisite details.

READ ALSO: Senate approves Buhari’s request for N850bn loan to finance 2020 budget

The senate turned down the $500 – $750 million which is being negotiated with the World Bank for State Fiscal Transparency and Sustainability Program to provide fiscal support to the states.

But it approved the Federal Government’s request for $125million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to strengthen the healthcare system and improve response to COVID-19, and $23 million for financing smallholder farmers to mitigate food security impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, $600million from the Islamic Development Bank to support Nigeria’s response to challenges posed by COVID-19, and $500 million from the African Export-Import Bank to provide critical medical supplies to combat the pandemic.

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