Nigeria: Senate Approves Tinubu’s $500m World Bank Loan for Electricity Metres

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Senate Wednesday approved a $500 million World Bank loan request by President Bola Tinubu to provide electricity metres for the citizens.

The  fund was approved for the  Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) after considering the report of the Committee on local and foreign debts.

The report was presented by the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Haruna Manu.

The $500 million loan was part of the $7.94 billion World Bank loan which President Bola Tinubu sought the Senate’s approval for on November 1, 2023.

It was  under the 2022-2024 external borrowing plan. The President also sought the approval for €100 million then.

However, the Senate gave the approval to borrow $7.4 billion approved during its special plenary on December 30 after considering the report of the Committee on local and foreign debt.

Manu, while presenting the report, said the $500m for the BPE could not be approved because the agency did not appear before the committee to defend the proposal

He noted  that the terms and conditions under which the loan was brought will not in any manner compromise the sustainability of Nigeria’s economic growth or hinder the integrity and independence of Nigeria as a sovereign nation.

He said, “The Committee recommends that the Senate do approve the ongoing negotiations of the external borrowing in the sum of $500m  for BPE; that the terforions of the loan from the funding agency be forwarded to the National Assembly before execution.”

It will be recalled that the Senate had earlier put on hold the approval of the N$500m because the BPE was unavailable to defend it when it was scheduled to appear before its committees.

However, following the defence of the borrowing, the Senate on Wednesday gave its approval for the loan in unanimous decision presided over by its Deputy President, Sen. Barau Jibrin.

“The programme development objective of this project is to improve financial and technical performance of electricity distribution companies,” the Senate report said.

After considering the report, the Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau, who presided over the meeting, ruled in favour of the loan request approval after a voice vote.