Press examines Senate approval of President Buhari and others’ new request for foreign loans

The approval by the Senate of President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for outstanding external loans in the amount of $ 8,325,526,537 and € 490,000,000 (euros) under the 2018 external borrowing plan (rolling) -2020 is one of the trends in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Guardian reports that the Senate yesterday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for outstanding external loans in the amount of $ 8,325,526,537 and € 490,000,000. (euros) as part of the 2018-2020 external borrowing plan. The approval follows the examination of a report on the 2018-2020 External Borrowing Plan (rolling) by the Local and Foreign Debt Commission.

Nigeria’s debt profile has continued to rise as the government continues to seek borrowing to fill annual budget deficits. According to the Debt Management Bureau (DMO), Nigeria’s total public debt stock stood at 32.92 trillion naira ($ 86.39 billion) in 2020, compared to 27.40 trillion naira. ($ 84.05 billion) in 2019, an increase of 20.12% in naira. terms.

That figure, however, rose to 33.107 trillion naira as of March 31, 2021, and excludes the previous Senate approval of the federal government’s loan of $ 2.18 billion in May, $ 6.1 billion in May. last week and $ 8.3 billion and over 490 million euros yesterday. .

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, in his presentation, said that the Committee noted with the utmost importance the genuine and very serious concerns of Nigerians regarding the level and sustainability / usefulness of the country’s borrowing during of the last decade.

According to the legislator, “Nigeria’s debt service figures represent a huge drain on our income as they represent over 30% of our expenditure in the annual budget.”

The newspaper indicates that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed its shock at the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by the Senate.

The party said so in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, Thursday in Abuja.

Ologbondiyan said the PDP and indeed the majority of Nigerians were shocked by the Senate decision rejecting Nigerians’ demand at all levels for the electronic transmission of election results without conditionalities.

The decision, he said, amounts to undermining the Nigerian electoral process.

He alleged that the action of the APC senators was an “atrocious attack on the sensitivity of Nigerians, who expected from the Senate an improvement of our electoral process in a way which would engender a free, fair and credible process”.

He said “it is scandalous that the APC-led Senate, with the aim of annexing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has sought to send a statutorily independent commission for the approval of the Nigerian Commission to communication (NCC) before proceeding to the elections.

ThisDay reports that the Nigerian Air Force said yesterday that the long-awaited first batch of six A29 Super Tucano planes, ordered by the federal government from the United States, were on their way to Nigeria.

The fighter jets, purchased following a $ 329 million overseas military sales contract awarded to SNC by the US government to build 12 A-29s for the Nigerian Air Force in November 2018, are expected to cross five countries, including Canada, Spain, Greenland, Iceland and Algeria before arriving in Nigeria.

The fighter jets were billed for delivery to Nigeria between 2021 and 2022. The Air Force, in earlier statements, had said six of the fighter jets were due for delivery by July while the remaining six would be in Nigeria by December.

The Air Force also completed construction of a hangar in Jaji, Kaduna state, where the attack aircraft would be domiciled.

A delegation from the House of Representatives visited the United States a few weeks ago to ascertain the condition of the fighter planes.

The delegation had raised questions about the delay in the delivery of fighter jets.

A statement from the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters said the first batch of fighter jets left the United States on Wednesday.

The newspaper indicates that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, lamented yesterday that African countries have not realized their true potential in bilateral trade with India.

In his speech at the 16th Conclave of the CII-EXIM Bank on the India and Africa project partnership on the theme: “Exploiting the Africa-India opportunity: connect, create, collaborate”, said the Minister despite the fact that India is Africa’s third largest trading partner, African countries mainly export crude oil and other extractive resources to the Asian country.

He said: “As you may know, India is now Africa’s third largest trading partner. Yet bilateral trade data and patterns suggest that the true potentials have yet to be realized as African countries mainly export crude oil and other extractive resources to India.

“In light of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, and as African countries aim to reduce their economic dependence on trade in resources, India could play a role. catalyst in Africa’s collective efforts to boost the region’s exports of manufactures and services.

He listed India’s top export destinations in Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Algeria, Ghana and Ethiopia.

The Punch reports that the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has advocated the production of indigenous solar cells, saying this would lead to a 60% drop in solar panel prices and help Nigeria’s transition to a green economy.

UN spoke in a virtual meeting with the director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Mr. Francesco La Camera, according to a statement released Thursday entitled “UN calls for indigenous production of solar cells.”

He said the production of indigenous solar cells would have a positive effect on many industries in the country.

The Minister requested the assistance of IRENA for the strengthening of institutional research capacities on the improvement of green hydrogen energy. “We want to manufacture our solar cells in Nigeria; more foreign investors should be encouraged to come to Nigeria, which has a huge market of 200 million people, ”he said.

The CEO of IRENA assured the minister that the agency would collaborate with Nigeria in the development of renewable energies and the stimulation of foreign direct investment.

The Sun reports that the Nigerian government, in alliance with the government of Japan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), on Tuesday unveiled a study that will solve Nigeria’s plastic waste pollution problem by providing innovative packaging and recycling technologies and alternative materials to plastics.

The research project entitled “Nigeria Study on Available Technologies that Meet the Need in Africa to Reduce Leakage of Plastic into the Environment” was executed by UNIDO and funded by Japan.

Speaking at the event in Abuja, Environment Minister Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar said the new study was among many government actions to address the challenges of plastic waste in the country in a holistic and sustainable manner. by proposing alternatives to stimulate investment and sustainable development. .

“Plastic pollution has become one of the most serious environmental problems facing the global community with an impact spanning national, regional and international borders. “Nigeria, with a population of around 200 million, generates around 1.5 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, of which less than 10% is recycled.


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