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More foreign borrowing by Nigeria – The Nation Newspaper

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More foreign borrowing by Nigeria – The Nation Newspaper

(Moves from low risk to medium risk borrower)

I have over the years written extensively to express my concerns about our country’s propensity for increased domestic and foreign borrowing. Last year, in an article in this paper, I urged caution on the federal government on foreign borrowing when President Buhari concluded a loan agreement of US$6 billion with China for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar railways project. I am not opposed to that loan as I consider it vital to the development of our woeful transport and other infrastructure. It should have been done long before now. Nigeria’s financing gap has widened considerably because of the delay and past neglect in executing vital development projects. Loans should be taken when needed badly for the upgrade of projects vital for our economic development. But the Chinese loan means we now have a total loan agreement of about US$18 with China alone, now our largest foreign lender.  In fact, apart from multilateral lenders, China is one of the few remaining countries still willing to lend Nigeria money. Our foreign borrowing is not a subject that I approach lightly as the burden of a huge foreign debt has grave implications for our future prosperity as a nation. I find it disturbing and disappointing that I have to return to this subject again. And this is because Nigeria is looking to borrowing from abroad again nearly N2.5 tr. or more this fiscal year. The loan is needed to balance  the  2017 FG [...]

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Leaders kick as $1.5b loan for Lagos-Ibadan railway is stuck – The … – The Nation Newspaper

•National Assembly delays approval of Chinese facility

Federal lawmakers came under fire yesterday for delaying the $1.5billion Chinese loan for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard rail gauge.

The National Assembly slashed N21billion off the N31billion estimate in the 2017 budget for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

All conditions for the loan  were met over six months ago. Only the lawmakers’ approval is yet to be obtained.

Last month, the presidential request for the loan’s approval was read by Senate President Bukola Saraki and referred to the Committee on Foreign Loans headed by Senator Shehu Sani. Since then, it has been kept in abeyance.

Stakeholders faulted the lawmakers, wondering why such an important rail project which connects the nation’s economic hub to other parts of the country was left unattended to.

Former Senate Minority Leader Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora said the issue deserved expedited action given the importance of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project. “Whatever the reason the lawmakers have for not according it the priority it deserves, they should have a re-think”.

According to him, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is the busiest road in the country and there is an absolute necessity to have an alternative. “That’s why the rail project is not only desirable, but inevitable. The earlier we did it, the better. It would take off a lot of load, as far as the transportation of [...]

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Leaders kick as $1.5b loan for Lagos-Ibadan railway is stuck – The Nation Newspaper

•National Assembly delays approval of Chinese facility

Federal lawmakers came under fire yesterday for delaying the $1.5billion Chinese loan for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard rail gauge.

The National Assembly slashed N21billion off the N31billion estimate in the 2017 budget for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

All conditions for the loan  were met over six months ago. Only the lawmakers’ approval is yet to be obtained.

Last month, the presidential request for the loan’s approval was read by Senate President Bukola Saraki and referred to the Committee on Foreign Loans headed by Senator Shehu Sani. Since then, it has been kept in abeyance.

Stakeholders faulted the lawmakers, wondering why such an important rail project which connects the nation’s economic hub to other parts of the country was left unattended to.

Former Senate Minority Leader Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora said the issue deserved expedited action given the importance of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project. “Whatever the reason the lawmakers have for not according it the priority it deserves, they should have a re-think”.

According to him, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is the busiest road in the country and there is an absolute necessity to have an alternative. “That’s why the rail project is not only desirable, but inevitable. The earlier we did it, the better. It would take off a lot of load, as far as the transportation of [...]

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