FG seeks approval from lawmakers for $1.5 bln loan for states’ projects

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ABUJA, JUNE 6, 2017 – The Federal government is seeking approval from lawmakers to borrow $1.5 billion from international lenders to fund projects in a number of the country’s states, a letter by the acting president said on Tuesday.

The OPEC member, which has Africa’s largest economy, is grappling with its first recession in 25 years which was largely brought on by low oil prices and the impact of attacks on energy facilities in the Niger Delta.

Crude sales makes up two-thirds of government revenues which are then shared among the country’s 36 states.

In a letter read out in both chambers of parliament, acting president Yemi Osinbajo requested that external borrowing for infrastructure projects in some Nigerian states should be earmarked for “accelerated consideration”.

“The request for the separation of the state projects became imperative in view of the current economic reality in the country and the pressing need of these states to provide infrastructural and social amenities for their citizens,” stated the letter.

President Muhammadu Buhari handed over power to Osinbajo when he travelled to Britain on medical leave on May 7 for what his office described as medical tests. Buhari’s wife on Tuesday said he was recuperating quickly from the undisclosed ailment.

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