President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to approve his request to secure a fresh loan of N850 billion to fund some projects in the 2020 budget.
He made the request in a letter read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
According to the letter, President Buhari seeks to raise the loan from the domestic capital market to ensure adequate funds to finance projects in the budget.
After the letter was read, the lawmakers gave accelerated approval to the President’s request to raise the loan.
They also asked the Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriation to liaise with the minister of finance, budget, and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, to get more details on the loan request.
President Buhari’s request was granted following the senators’ resumption from a recess which lasted about five weeks.
The lawmakers had gone on break since March as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
At the resumed plenary, the Senate President welcomed his colleagues and gave the reason for the resumption of plenary amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
He explained that the decision was to help sustain solutions to the health crisis and ensure the crisis does not create more problems for the government and its people.
Lawan stated that the pandemic has affected the 2020 budget and the National Assembly has a responsibility to work with the Executive to address the problem.
Meanwhile, the senate leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, has moved a motion to suspend Order 11 to enable senators to speak from seats not belonging to them.
He explained that this was to enable the lawmaker to comply with social distancing, which was part of the measures to check the spread of COVID-19.