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2020 Budget: Senate Approves Buhari’s Request To Raise Fresh N850bn Loan

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President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to approve his request to secure a fresh loan of N850 billion to fund some projects in the 2020 budget.

He made the request in a letter read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

According to the letter, President Buhari seeks to raise the loan from the domestic capital market to ensure adequate funds to finance projects in the budget.

After the letter was read, the lawmakers gave accelerated approval to the President’s request to raise the loan.

They also asked the Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriation to liaise with the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to get more details on the loan request.

President Buhari’s request was granted following the senators’ resumption from a recess which lasted about five weeks.

The lawmakers had gone on break since March as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

At the resumed plenary, the Senate President welcomed his colleagues and gave the reason for the resumption of plenary amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

He explained that the decision was to help sustain solutions to the health crisis and ensure the crisis does not create more problems for the government and its people.

Senator Lawan stated that the pandemic has affected the 2020 budget and the National Assembly has a responsibility to work with the Executive to address the problem.

Meanwhile, the Senate Leader, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya, has moved a motion to suspend Order 11 to enable senators to speak from seats not belonging to them.

He explained that this was to enable the lawmaker to comply with social distancing, which was part of the measures to check the spread of COVID-19.

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ASUU chapters at loggerheads after FG offer to end 8-month strike.

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The controversy generated by the ongoing strike between the federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is yet to abate despite the pleas from Nigerians.

The Nation reports that some branches of ASUU were divided over whether to accept the federal government’s offer and call off their eight-month-old strike. Legit.ng gathered that the union would harmonise the positions of zones and branches at a meeting in Abuja on Friday, November 27. The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, addressing the leadership of ASUU in Abuja over the strike. The report said while some branches insisted that the government must meet all the demands before the strike is called off, the union may put the decision to a vote. It was learnt that the Ahmadu Bello University branch agreed with the government on the N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA).

The branch, however, called for payment of the allowance before the strike will be called off. The newspaper noted that the lecturers at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta state, said negotiations with the federal government must be concluded before the strike is called off. The chairman of ASUU at the university, Ezekiel Agbalagba, said the congress on Wednesday, November 25, accepted the EAA, but rejected the N25 billion for the revitalisation of the varsities.

He said:

“We are willing to suspend the strike, but some of those contending issues should be thrashed and thrashed once.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the authority of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) directed all non-teaching staff of the institution to resume work on Friday, November 27, with cutlasses, hoes, brooms, and buckets to clear overgrown grass, sweep offices as well as keep the environment clean.

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