President Muhammadu Buhari has again blamed the 8th Senate led by Dr. Bukola Saraki for stalling his developmental plans in his first term with its partial rejection of his 2016 – 2018 borrowing plan.
Buhari in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan which was read yesterday on the floor of the Senate asking the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s $29.96 billion 2016 – 2018 borrowing plan said several projects were not embarked on because the 8th Senate approved only part of the plan.
The letter reads, “Pursuant to Section 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act, I hereby request for Resolutions of the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing plan, as well as relevant projects under this plan.
“Specifically, the Senate is invited to note that: While I had transmitted the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan to the Eighth National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the Legislature; only the Federal Government’s Emergency projects for the North East, (Four (4) States’ projects and one (1) China Exim Bank Assisted Railway Modernisation Projects for Lagos – Ibadan Segment) were approved, out of a total of thirty-nine (39) projects.
“The Outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the Legislature are, nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.
“These outstanding projects are well advanced in terms of their preparation, consistent with the 2016 Debt Sustainability Analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office and were approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2016 under the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing Plan.
“Accordingly, I have attached, for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing plan for which legislative approval is currently sought.
“I have also directed the Minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”
The 8th Senate had at the time rejected the entirety of the plan due to its inability to provide specific details on the spending plan.