BEVERLY HILLS, March 22, (THEWILL) – The National Assembly has approved the request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the issuance of a $500 million Eurobond to fund the deficit in the 2016 budget.
The Senate considered the request at the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday and voted to approve the request, immediately shortening the approval processing time while the House of Representatives approved the same request.
Moving the motion, Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn N’allah explained that time was against the 2016 budget, adding that it would be disastrous for nation for any delay and urged the Senate to set aside processes that will make it possible for prompt approval.
In response, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, while seconding the motion, said: “despite the lack of consultation, I wish to second the motion to enable the Committee of the whole consider the request.”
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the Committee put a vote and it was immediately approved.
Similarly, the resolution was passed in the House without opposition, however, the House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management was mandated to monitor the disbursement of the proceeds of the Eurobond as specified in the 2016 Appropriation Act.
The House, in approving the Eurobond issue, noted that based on the 2016 Appropriation Act and applying the average exchange rate, there was still headroom to access further international funding.
It also premised its approval on the high over-subscription of the recent $1 billion Eurobond issue which had created favourable market conditions for the issuance of another foreign debt instrument of $500 million to fund the 2016 budget.
THEWILL recalls that the 2016 Appropriation Act provided for a deficit of N2.20 trillion and borrowing of N1.81 trillion.
Although domestic borrowing has been accessed to the tune of N635.87 billion, that of external borrowing was yet to be fully accessed.