PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari in a meeting with the Senate on Tuesday has said, Nigeria will pay an extra $4 billion to service its debt if the Senate blocks a plan to restructure government loans from the Central Bank.
“Failure to grant the securitization approval will however cost the government about 1.8 trillion naira in additional interest in 2023,” the President added, according to an emailed statement from his spokesman, Femi Adesina to Bloomberg International.
Bloomberg added that, Buhari’s administration has negotiated a more favorable interest rate and longer repayment period with the central bank, the statement said.
It could be recalled that, the Senate rejected the request by the President to restructure the N22.7tn Ways and Means advances collected by the Federal Government from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
President Buhari had in a letter read on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday last week sought for restructuring of the N22.7tn ways and means advances collected from CBN within the last ten years in addition to N1tn to be collected as fresh domestic loan.
In the letter, he said ways and means were advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government for emergency funding of delayed receipt of fiscal deficits.
However, trouble started when the chairman of the committee, Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), was called upon to present a report on it.
Some members of the upper legislative chamber were quick to raise objections as the Senate leadership attempted to get the report of its finance committee, which had recommended that the president’s request be granted.
Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers), was the first to rise against it through the constitutional point of order, saying ways and means of expenditure are not known to the Nigerian constitution.