Buhari Writes NASS, Seeks Approval For $2.786b Eurobonds

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President Buhari
President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Senate, seeking approval of the lawmakers to raise $2.78 billion from the International Capital Market as part of funding of the 2018 budget.

In a letter dated July 23, and read Tuesday by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Buhari said the sum as approved in the 2018 Appropriation Act, would be used to finance deficits and key infrastructure projects in the 2018 budget.

The loan, according to President, will be raised from Eurobonds and other securities in the international capital market.

He also asked the lawmakers to approve an external capital sourcing of $82.54 million to refinance the balance of $500 million matured Eurobonds in the international capital market.

He said the requests were pursuant to Section 21(1) and 27(1) of the Debt Management Office (Establishment, Etc.) Act of 2003.

In another letter dated September 10, President Buhari asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Olanipekun Olukoyede as Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

This is coming amid pending confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, whose nomination by the President as substantive chairman of the EFCC had been rejected twice by senators.

Also requested by President Buhari was Senate’s consideration and approval of N346 billion as the 2018 budget proposal of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

The figure is N18 billion lower than the N364 billion budget approved for the commission in the 2017 fiscal year.

A breakdown of the proposed amount shows a total recurrent expenditure of N32 billion and cumulative capital provision of N314 billion.

The President listed sources of revenue for the commission in 2018 to include Federal Government’s contribution (N81.8 billion) and unpaid arrears by the Federal Government (N33.9 billion).

Others are contributions from oil companies and others (N220 billion) and other “realised income” (N150 million).

Buhari also presented an Executive Bill, titled ‘Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill, 2018″ to the Senate for consideration and passage.

In a separate letter dated July 20, Buhari said the bill was intended to curtail illegal activities of pirates at sea and to reduce oil theft in domestic and international water, adding that the proposed legislation would also domesticate relevant provisions of international treaties to which Nigeria is signatory.

According to President Buhari, one of the treaties is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982 (UNCLOS II) relating to piracy.

He identified another as the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, 1988 and its protocols.