Senate approves Tinubu’s $500M World Bank loan for electricity meters

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On Wednesday, the Senate gave its nod to a World Bank loan request of $500 million, put forth by President Bola Tinubu.

The loan is intended to fund the provision of electricity meters for the populace.

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was granted the funds after the Senate reviewed the report from the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, presented by its Vice Chairman, Senator Haruna Manu.

The $500 million loan is a part of a larger $7.94 billion loan from the World Bank, which President Bola Tinubu had sought the Senate’s approval for on November 1, 2023, as part of the 2022-2024 external borrowing plans.

The Senate had previously approved a $7.4 billion loan during a special plenary on December 30, after reviewing the report from the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt.

Senator Manu, in his presentation, noted that the $500 million intended for the BPE was initially not approved as the agency did not present a defense for the proposal before the committee. He assured that the loan’s terms and conditions would not compromise Nigeria’s economic growth or its sovereignty.

He recommended that the Senate approve the ongoing negotiations for the $500 million external borrowing for the BPE, with the stipulation that the loan’s terms from the funding agency be forwarded to the National Assembly before execution.

The Senate had previously deferred the approval of the $500 million loan as the BPE was unable to present a defense when scheduled. However, following a successful defense of the borrowing, the Senate unanimously approved the loan on Wednesday, under the presidency of its Deputy President, Sen. Barau Jibrin.

The Senate report stated that the project’s objective is to enhance the financial and technical performance of electricity distribution companies. After reviewing the report, Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau, who chaired the meeting, approved the loan request following a voice vote.

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