President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday asked Senate to approve his request for an external borrowing in the amount of $7,905,690,000 (or $2.64 billion a year) for the construction of oil pipelines under the medium term development plan between 2012 to 2014.
Swiftly the Senate through its spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the resort to borrowing did not mean that the country was broke.
“It has nothing to do with Nigeria being broke. We will get more details when we debate it on the floor of the Senate.
We might accept or not, depending on the way the debate goes,”said Abaribe in response to questions on the matter.
In the letter for the request, President Jonathan, explained that the loans were offered by the World Bank, African Development Bank(AfDB), Islamic Development Bank(IDB), Exim Bank of China(EBC) and Indian lines of credit.
The President in the letter told the Senators that the projects for which the loan were sought were at various stages. He therefore, urged the Senate to approve the list of pipeline projects for inclusion in the medium term (2012-2014) external borrowing plan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The pipeline initiatives he said, were designed to put the economy back on track through growth and employment activities geared towards the implementation of the transformation agenda.
“I wish to inform you that a number of special initiatives were designed to put the economy back on track through growth and employment activities geared towards the implementation of the transformation agenda. In that regard, a number of projects have been designed to create employment opportunities with a view to growing the economy.
“The pipelines are at various stages of finalisation.
Therefore, I present a total external pipeline borrowing in the amount of $7,905,690,000 or $2.64 billion a year being cumulative facilities offered by the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Exim Bank of China and Indian lines of credit.”
Jonathan, however invited the Senate to note that the objectives of the projects conform with the transformation agenda of his administration and cuts across various sectors of the economy.