The Presidency has said that the proposed external borrowing of $29.9 billion by the government is meant for the execution of developmental projects across the country.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhamadu Buhari, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday night.
The Presidential aide was reacting to the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi’s position on the borrowing plans.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October requested the National Assembly to approve a foreign loan of $29.9 billion to fund developmental projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.
However, the Emir on Friday, expressed his disapproval of the borrowing plans by the Buhari-led administration.
Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was speaking at a policy dialogue forum organised by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in Abuja.
“I can tell you for free, if the Senate today approves that we can borrow $30 billion, honestly, no one will lend us. If it should be approved and I will like to see how you will go to the international market with an economy that has five exchange rates,” Sanusi was quoted as saying.
The Presidential spokesman, however, said: “With every respect to the Emir, you know he is my ruler because I come from Kano. He does not have his facts as far as those issues are concerned.”
According to him, the issue that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account in CBN is true, but it is within limits.
“The overdraw does not exceed N1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did that the account was overdrawn by N4.5 trillion,” he said.
On the Emir’s opposition on the loan, Shehu said that the Minister of Finance would respond appropriately.
“As a private citizen, I want to read his statement again. I thought that the borrowing is for projects that include the railway and electricity development in the country,” he added.