The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management had presented its report through the Chairman, Rep. Ahmed Safana (APC-Katsina), at the House Committee on Supply.
Safana observed that out of the total borrowing of $22,898,446,773 as contained in the October 2019 re-forwarded request of President Buhari, a sum of $17,065,496,773 is for funds proposed to be borrowed from China Eximbank Bank.
He said out of the $22.799 billion loan, China Eximbank is to provide the larger chunk of the fund worth $17.066 billion at 20 years maturity, seven years moratorium, 0.5 per cent management fee, 2.75 per cent interest rate, 0.3 per cent commitment fee and three years to seven years duration.
The lawmaker said the World Bank is to provide $2.854 billion at average repayment maturity of between 20 years to 25 years, 1.25 per cent interest rate, 0.25 per cent commitment charge, 0.25 per cent front-end fee and five years duration.
He said the African Development Bank is to provide $1.889 billion at average repayment maturity of 20 years, 0.75 per cent service charge, 0.5 per cent commitment charge, five years grace period, 1.127 per cent interest rate and five years to eight years duration.
According to him, Agencie Francaise de Development (AFD) is to provide $480 million at 15 years to 20 years maturity, four years to seven years grace period, 2.6 per cent to 2.9 per cent rate in USD based on Libor floating market rates (1.3 per cent in Euros in Euribomarket rates), depending on loan maturity, 0.5 per cent commitment fee, 0.5 per cent appraisal fee and five years duration.
The Rep said that JICA is to provide $200 million at 30 years maturity, 10 years grace period and 1.4 per cent interest rate.
He said German Development Bank is to provide $200 million at 15 years maturity, five years grace period, 3.99 per cent interest rate, 0.25 per cent commitment fee of the undisturbed amount and 0.4 per cent management fee of the loan.
He also said the Islamic Development Bank is to provide $110 million at average repayment maturity of between 25 years, Service Charge not exceeding 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent interest rate and four years duration.
The breakdown of the approved loans include $350 million World Bank Development Policy Operation loan for Kaduna State and $110 million Islamic Development Bank Health Systems Projects Loan for Katsina State.
Reacting to the adopted report, the Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu, said the approval does not meet the expectations of the people down South.
Okechukwu said: “First and foremost, there are certain strategic projects that ought to be there: One is the Western Corridor Rail line, which goes from Lagos to Kano, and the Eastern Corridor Rail line that goes from Port Harcourt through Enugu to Makurdi, Plateau down to Maiduguri.
“They were established the same day, they commenced the same day, and they were completed the same day they were operating.
“So to take one in exclusion of the other is not appropriate.”
According to him, it is an infrastructural sufficiency to give impetus to the eastern corridor passing through South South, South East, North Central and North East.
He said: “If you check all these areas, what you will see is that we have trouble from Boko Haram to agitations to militancy; we have challenges in these areas and when you don’t undertake economic activities that will improve it, you are not helping.
“So it is our considered opinion that they should have been a priority; we appreciate the effort of Mr. Speaker in terms of trying by all means for the past four months to accommodate these Lines, but of course there was no initiation for it.
“This is where you find out that the budget or loan approval is as good, but we need to think globally.”
Okechukwu, however, appreciated the provision that says that the South East should be prioritised in the next borrowing plan.
He said loan approval should have waited until the feasibility study was completed so that the South East and North East are sufficiently accommodated.
The Rep said the North East and South East in the budgetary appropriation always come last, adding that the House should have considered the region.