Sanusi goofed on $29.9bn loan, Presidency says
The Presidency has said that the proposed external borrowing of 29.9 billion dollars by the government is meant for the execution of developmental projects across the country.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, stated this in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday night.
The Presidential aide was reacting to the Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi’s position on the borrowing plans.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October requested the National Assembly to approve a foreign loan of 29.9 billion dollars to fund developmental projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.
However, the Emir was quoted by social media on Friday as expressing his disapproval of the borrowing plans by the Buhari-led administration.
Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was speaking at a policy dialogue forum organised by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in Abuja.
“I can tell you for free, if the Senate today approves that we can borrow $30 billion, honestly, no one will lend us. It should be approved and I will like to see how you will go to the international market with an economy that has five exchange rates,” Sanusi was quoted as saying.
The Presidential spokesman, however, said: “With every respect to the Emir, you know he is my ruler because I come from Kano.
“He does not have his facts as far as those issues are concerned.”
According to him, the issue in CBN, that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account is true, but it is within limits.
He said: “The overdraw does not exceed N1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did that the account was overdrawn by N4.5 trillion.”
On the Emir’s opposition to the loan, Shehu the Minister of Finance would response appropriately.
“As a private citizen, I want to read his statement again. I thought that the borrowing is for projects that include the railway and electricity development in the country,” he added.