The house of representatives has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $22.7 billion.
The green chamber approved the request at Tuesday’s plenary session after it considered the report of its committee on aids, loans and debt management.
When he sent the request in 2019, Buhari said the loan will be used to finance key infrastructures in the country.
But some lawmakers particularly those in the south-east kicked against the move, alleging that the region was excluded in the loan’s implementation plan.
The criticisms had led to suspension of the loan approval which has now been debated and passed after much plea from Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker.
Gbajabiamila said every step to address the issues raised against the loan request was met by legal blocks “in the sense that agreements have already been made and cannot be approved”.
“So, it is either we approve wholesale or not approve,” he said.
The speaker, however, added that the house was able to get the executive to agree to insert projects from the south-east and north-east into the next borrowing plan.
“For the first time, we added a clause specifying certain projects. We met and demanded for the commitment of the executive that these projects must be considered in the next borrowing plan and we got their words,” he said.
“I am only seeking for the understanding of our colleagues from the north-east and south-east. All of us will agree that there is a massive wide infrastructural deficit in this country and we need to bridge that gap.
“I am pleading that you to understand with us and at this point, be nationalistic. Let us not throw away the baby with the bathwater. Mistakes have been made and it has been corrected for the future.”
Buhari first sent the loan request to the previous national assembly under Bukola Saraki but it was rejected.