Buhari seeks $800m loan from World Bank
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday wrote to the Senate, asking the upper chamber of the National Assembly to approve a new loan request of $800million.
In a letter read by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, President Buhari noted that the loan would be utilized to scale up the National Social Safety Net Programme, said that the loan would be sourced from the World Bank.
A month ago, precisely on April 18, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed had hinted about the world bank loan to be disbursed to 50 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty at the rate of N5000 each. On April 27, she again said the loan is necessary to cushion the effect of the removal of petroleum subsidy.
However two days ago, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre(CISLAC) faulted the federal government over its $800 million World Bank loan for fuel subsidy Palliatives to Nigerians. In statement released by the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani, he expressed displeasure over the carefree attitude of President Muhammadu Buhari towards Nigeria’s worrisome debt burden.
Rafsanjani insisted that since Buhari’s administration will not remove the fuel subsidy, the $800 million loan from the World Bank should be suspended.
“If the fuel subsidy removal process has been suspended as announced by the Minister of Finance after the NEC meeting at the end of April, then the government should return the borrowed money because what are we taking the loan for?” He queried.
The group said the government should not embark on another borrowing spree because the country is already indebted heavily.
If approved by the Senate, the loan will increase Nigeria’s debt burden under the Buhari administration to N77 trillion.