The presidency and leaders of the national assembly have reached a compromise on a planned external borrowing, TheCable has learnt.
In October 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the national assembly seeking approval for the borrowing of $30bn from external sources.
But the national assembly turned down the president’s request.
The proposal was rejected even without consideration at the senate, and the house of representatives could not act on it after the upper legislative chamber took a decision.
Afterwards, President Muhammadu Buhari held a series of meetings with Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives.
On Tuesday, TheCable learnt that the leaders of the national assembly agreed to the borrowing of some funds – but not the $30bn – from external sources to finance the 2017 budget.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo discussed the government’s borrowing plans with Saraki and Yusuf Lasun, deputy speaker, at the presidential villa on Tuesday.
A source privy to the meeting told TheCable that the leaders of the national assembly agreed to the government’s plan to borrow $1bn through euro bond.
“The leaders of the national assembly present at the meeting – Saraki and Lasun– with the acting president, agreed to the borrowing of $1bn through euro bond. However, they said they would consult their colleagues for a final decision,” he said.
“The acting president has sent a letter to the national assembly on the request which necessitated the meeting. So, the meeting was to discuss further and clear out grey areas.”
A source at the national assembly told TheCable that Saraki was already meeting with leaders of the senate to discuss the proposal.
“The senate president is meeting with the leadership of the senate to discuss the proposal,” he said.
“You know the senate is on break for work on the 2017 budget, but there is a possibility that we may reconvene to consider the new proposal.”
Notable Nigerians like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Femi Falana (SAN) had advised the government against borrowing the initial amount on the basis that it would sink the country into debt.