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Senate approves $500m mass metering loan

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By Abiodun Okunloye

The loan's terms and conditions will not jeopardise economic growth - Manu.

President Bola Tinubu’s Loan request of $500 million for the metering of citizens has been given approval by the Nigerian Senate. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) will be responsible for handling the funds, as recommended in the report presented by Haruna Manu, Vice Chairman of the Committee on local and foreign debt. He requested Senate approval on November 1, 2023, for a $7.94 billion loan. Within this loan, there is a $500 million component included in the 2022-2024 external borrowing plan.

At a special Senate plenary on December 30, approval was granted for a $7.4 billion loan despite the President’s request for €100 million. Manu mentioned during the presentation of the report that the $500 million portion of the loan intended for the BPE was not approved due to the agency’s absence at the committee meeting. In his statement, he emphasised that the loan’s terms and conditions will not jeopardise Nigeria’s Economic Growth Sustainability or impede the country’s sovereignty, integrity, and independence.

Adequate monitoring is needed to utilise the loan properly.

He urged the Senate to approve the continuation of external borrowing negotiations for BPE, with the condition that the loan terms be shared with the National Assembly prior to finalising the agreement. Following a thorough review and approval by Jibrin Barau, the Deputy Senate President, the loan request was granted. In response to concerns raised by some senators about the potential impact of taking on such a large loan, It is expected to be used specifically for the metering of citizens, which is a critical Infrastructure Investment that will ultimately benefit the Nigerian people.

This is seen as a positive step towards addressing the longstanding issue of power shortages in Nigeria. The lack of reliable Electricity supply has been a major hindrance to Economic Development and has significantly impacted the daily lives of Nigerian citizens. By investing in metering infrastructure, the government aims to improve the efficiency of the electricity sector and provide more reliable power to households and businesses. It also reflects the government’s commitment to improving the country’s infrastructure and driving economic growth.

Investment in infrastructure will rescue power shortages.

By addressing the longstanding issue of power shortages, the government hopes to attract more investment, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Nigerian citizens. The loan will also help to modernise the electricity sector and bring it in line with international standards. This is laying the foundation for a more stable and reliable electricity supply, which is essential for economic growth and development. The loan will enable the government to make significant progress in improving the country’s energy infrastructure and meeting the electricity needs of its citizens.

However, there are some reservations about the government’s increased borrowing to fund infrastructure projects. Some argue that taking on more debt could potentially strain the country’s finances and lead to greater economic instability in the long run. These concerns highlight the need for careful oversight of the loan’s utilisation to ensure that the funds are used effectively and efficiently to benefit the Nigerian people. This gives a space for greater transparency and accountability in the borrowing process, emphasising the importance of ensuring that borrowed funds are used for their intended purpose and do not end up being mismanaged or misappropriated.

Related Article: World Bank set to give Nigeria $2.25bn loan

Diversification is a key strategy that can help mitigate risks and enhance the resilience of Nigeria’s Economy. By diversifying its Revenue sources and economic base, Nigeria can reduce its overdependence on some resources and create a more sustainable and diversified economy. This can be achieved through investing in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, technology, and services, which have the potential to drive economic growth and create new opportunities for employment and wealth creation. It can help to insulate the economy from external shocks, such as fluctuations in oil prices or global economic downturns, by spreading risk across multiple sectors.


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