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Senate grants Tinubu’s $500 million loan request to buy prepaid metres for electricity consumers

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gazettengr.com

The Senate on Wednesday granted President Bola Tinubu’s request to borrow $500 million for his administration’s mass metering project to procure prepaid electricity metres for Nigerian households.

The Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin communicated the approval of the request, noting that the decision was based on the recommendation of the committee on local and foreign debt.

Vice Chairman of the committee, Haruna Manu, said the terms of the loan contract were favourable in that the nation would not in any way suffer a setback and stunted economic growth because of the debt.

The loan, according to Mr Manu, ought to have been approved months earlier, if not for the sluggishness of the Bureau of Public Enterprises in appearing before the Senate to defend the project.

“The committee recommends that the Senate approve the ongoing negotiations of the external borrowing in the sum of $500m for BPE; that the perforations of the loan from the funding agency be forwarded to the National Assembly before execution,” Mr Manu said on Wednesday.

The $500 million falls under the nation’s 2022-2024 external borrowing plan including the $7.94 billion World Bank loan and €100 million that Mr Tinubu sought approval to obtain in November 2023.

But the Senate slashed about $540 million from the request, approving $7.4 billion on December 30, 2023.

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