Chris Steven, Abuja
The Senate and the House of Representatives have confirmed the receipt of letters by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo seeking approval for foreign loan requests of about one point five billion US dollars to ten states of the federation for crucial infrastructural projects.
The letters personally signed by Prof Osinbajo were read separately by the Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives at Tuesday’s plenary.
The loan requests were for Ogun, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kano, Abia, Katsina, Jigawa, Enugu, Plateau and Ondo states and are meant for provision of water, health, agriculture and infrastructural development.
Osinbajo’s letter clearly stated that the funding is to be sourced from the African Development Bank, French Development Agency, World Bank and slamic Development Bank at low interest rates hence the request for approval to enable the ten states to seek for external financing of the critical projects.
The letter sent to the Senate President read in part: “I write in reference to my earlier letter requesting for the consideration and approval of the Senate for the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan and ro request the Senate to separate the States’ Projects from the items listed in the Borrowing Plan with a view to giving them accelerated consideration.
“The Senate President may wish to know that the request for the separation of the States’ Projects from the list became imperative in view of the current economic realities in the country and the pressing needs of these states to provide infrastructure and social amenities for their citizens. The total loans for the states being presented for special consideration and approval is $1,492,400,000.00 as listed in paragraph 1 above.
“It will be highly appreciated if you could kindly give this request an expedited consideration and approval to enable the states meet up with all other effective conditions for the implementation of the projects in their respective states “.
The loan request is expected to be the subject of debate this week before it would be referred to its committee on States, foreign and local debts.