Buhari seeks N’Assembly’s approval for $200m World Bank loan for Lagos
The facility, according to the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara who read President Buhari’s letter on the floor yesterday, is the third tranche of a $600 million facility earlier approved by the World Bank in 2010.
President Buhari told the Parliament that the first and second tranches of the funds were released in 2010 and 2012 respectively, and noted that the usage of the funds have been adjudged as successful by the World Bank, where he said the Board of Directors approved the third tranche in April 2015.
The President, who said the approval by the Parliament would enable Lagos State consolidate on the gains of the tranches earlier released, also sought the approval of the Chamber to increase Diaspora Bond from $100 million to $300 million to provide funds to bridge infrastructure gap, as well as cater to the interests that have been shown by Nigerians in Diaspora in the proposed bonds.
In a second letter to the Parliament, Buhari recalled that senators of the out-gone Seventh Assembly had already approved the increase, while the Seventh House could not do so before its expiration.
The House is expected to set up a committee to consider the request and determine the ability of Lagos State to repay the credit facility.
Meanwhile, the House yesterday could not proceed to take a decision on a scheduled motion seeking a probe into alleged non-remittance to the Federation Account and misappropriation of funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as it was withdrawn by the sponsor and member representing Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency, Chike Okafor (Imo APC).
Chike had during his presentation on the floor alleged that the sum of $4 billion was paid as taxes and dividends by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited between 2009 and 2014, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent $3.8 trillion in three years, saying: “… About $2.1 billion was disbursed from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) without approval from the National Economic Council (NEC).”
The lawmaker, however, withdrew the motion after Edward Pwajok (Plateau PDP) and the House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor (Delta PDP), pointed out technical flaws contained the motion.
In another development, President Buhari yesterday put the crisis generated by the appointment of some heads of Federal Government parastatals to rest by seeking Senate approval for their appointments.
He had appointed Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), William Babatunde Fowler; Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umaru Danbatta and Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) between August and September in acting capacity.
In the letter addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and read on the floor of the Senate, Buhari urged the Senate to treat the requests in expeditious manner.
He also sought the confirmation of Kola Ayeye, Eberechukwu Uneze and Aminu Ismail as executive directors of AMCON.
Senate spokesperson, Dino Melaye, later told journalists at a press conference that the requests would be referred to the appropriate committee at today’s plenary for screening.