Senate approves $500m Eurobond to fund 2016 budget deficit

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The Senate on Wednesday approved President Muhammadu’s Buhari request for 500 million dollars Eurobond in the International Capital Market to fund 2016 Budget deficit.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who acted on behalf of the President, had on March 15, written to the Senate to approve the amount to fund the deficit.

In the letter, Osinbajo explained that the request was based on new borrowings provided in the 2016 Appropriation Act.

“The senate may wish to refer to item 229 and 244 of the 2016 Federal Government of Nigeria Appropriation Act which provided for a deficit of N2, 204.74 billion and new borrowings of N1, 818.68 billion, respectively.

“The Act also provided for domestic borrowing of N1, 182.80 billion and external borrowing N635.88 billion in line with item 245 and 246, respectively.

“The Senate may also wish to note that while the approved domestic borrowing has been fully incurred, the N635.88 billion on external borrowing has not been fully accessed.

“The external borrowing incurred today consists of 600 million dollars from the African Development Bank and one billion dollars Euro Bond for the International Capital Market (ICM) only.

“The senate may wish to note that the proceeds of the Euro Bond are to be used as funding sources to finance the budget deficit, including capital expenditure projects as specified in the 2016 Appropriation Act,’’ he stated.

Moving the motion for the approval of the fund, Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Na’Allah, said that in view of the urgency of the request and the lack of time, it was necessary for the lawmakers to grant the approval.

The motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

Consequently, the lawmakers unanimously approved the president’s request.

After the approval, Na’Allah commended the senators for approving the fund for the deficit defray.

I thank my colleagues for this rare show of understanding and exhibition of cooperation for this government in its determination to touch the life of average Nigerians,” he said.

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