The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the federal government’s request to borrow $973,474,971.38 from the China Development Bank.
This follows the China-Exim Bank’s decision to reject Nigeria’s $22,798,446,773 loan request previously approved by the National Assembly.
House Rules and Regulations Committee Chairman Abubakar Fulata sent a petition to the legislative chamber to amend the licensing resolution for the failed loan agreement.
The petition is titled “Terminate the Federal Government’s External Borrowing (Transition) Scheme 2016-2018”.
The Plan was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives on March 5, 2020, and June 2, respectively,
“The Chamber reiterates that Congress has approved an amount of $22,798,446,773 only within the framework of the medium-term loan plan (transfer term) 2016-2018. The House is aware of the communications from the Federal Ministry of Finance requesting approval of modifications to the financing proposal for the Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Kaduna–Kano segment) occasioned by the COVID–19 pandemic, whereof China Exim Bank withdrew its support to finance the project.”
He added, “The House is also aware that to secure funds for the project, the contractor (CCECC Nigeria Limited), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, engaged China Development Bank as the new financier in the sum of $973,474,971.38 only.”
Fulata, therefore, prayed the House to “rescind its decision on the financier and harmonized terms and approve the change of financier from China Exim Bank to China Development Bank.”
The lawmakers unanimously granted the prayer.
The House also approved the conditions provided in the harmonized term sheet: Segment – Kaduna–Zaria–Kano; financier – China Development Bank; type of loan – commercial loan; maturity – 15 years; currency – euro; interest rate – 2.7% + 6 months Euribor; commitment fee – 0.4%; and upfront fee – 0.5%.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements, Nicholas Ossai, who commented after Fulata moved the motion, stated that the Executive arm of the government failed to present details of Nigeria’s commercial agreements with other countries to the National Assembly.
Ossai added, “Secondly, we are now changing from China Exim Bank to China Development Bank, it then means an addition of another agreement. And if we are going to pass this resolution, it then means that members of this honorable House will not see those agreements.
“The current and important thing for the Minister of Finance (National Planning and Budget, Zainab Ahmed), when you come (before Parliament) on these matters must be accompanied by agreed agreements. agreed with the China Development Bank, so that members can be guided when approving such conditions for this loan Sir, I think this petition should be withdrawn while We ask the relevant authorities to forward all agreements agreed with China Development Bank
Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila, However, the chair of the session argued that the committee’s content committee, especially the transportation committee, has been looking into the details. I have also written to the Chairman (of the Loan and Aid Committee) about this. I have also written to the Department Minister of Finance on this,” he said.
While Gbajabiamila asked the chairpersons of the transport, aid, and loan committees to meet with him immediately after the session, he proceeded to issue a motion to vote by voice and it was passed in the midst of hostility.
The House of Representatives remains silent on the alleged abandonment of an investigation into the federal government’s foreign loan and trade agreements, which the commission led by Ossai said contained provisions. “danger”.
The Committee has yet to prepare its report on the failed investigation that began in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Senate, also on Tuesday, approved a request to extend the implementation of the capital component. of the Appropriations Act 2022 from March 31 to March 31 and June 30, 2023.
Law enforcement requested an extension of the federal government’s budget from December 31. to March 31, which Congress passed in December 2022.
This came as the Senate also extended the implementation of the capital component of the 2022 budget from March 31 to June 30, 2023.
The extension came after the debate. led by the Senate leader, Gobir Ibrahim (Sokoto) East), asked the senate to amend the Budget Appropriations Act of 2022.
Lawmakers relaxed their standing rules to allow expedited review and approval to allow him to read the bill the first, second, and third times before it passed.
The Senate subsequently dissolved into the “Supplies Committee” to review the report before it was finally passed and passed a request to extend the deadline of the 2022 budget until June 30. the year 2023.