While the Federal Government said we were not borrowing any money, the Deputy Senate President announced that he had received a letter from the Acting President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation, which he read as follows:
From the Acting President:
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Distinguished Senator David Mark. GCON President
of the Senate.
National Assembly Complex.
Thursday, 22nd April, 2010
SUMMARY OF 2010 EXTERNAL BORROWING PLAN OF GOVERNMENT
I hereby forward to Your Excellency. the Summary of the
2010 External Borrowing Plan of Government as a major component of the 2010 Appropriation.
Please, recall our discussion during our interaction on the
2010 Budget of the Federal Government held on 20th April. 2010 to formally transmit the 2010 External Borrowing Plan of the Federal Government to you for consideration and approval. You may also further recall that the Senate Committee on Finance had on several occasions invited the Executive to present the 2010 Borrowing Plan and explain its content including sustainability and impact on the economy. This is in compliance with the due process. The Borrowing Plan for 2010 is hereby presented for your kind consideration and approval.
You may wish to note that Nigeria is in dire need to fund the huge infrastructure deficit critical
to rapid development and the highly concessionary credit facilities offered by Multilateral Agencies to which Nigeria belongs and commits substantial resources as affiliation fees, has been identified as an inevitable source to compliment the budgetary allocations as appropriate.
The World Bank Portfolio of the facilities totalling $915 million out of which $179 million would be drawn in fiscal 2010. is of particular essence as it would be deployed to Urban Water and Transport. Human Capacity Development and Power infrastructure projects across the country.
In view of the above. Your Excellency may wish to consider the Borrowing Plan for
2010 in order to facilitate immediate legislative consideration.
Please accept. Your Excellency. the assurances of my esteemed regards.
Dr. Goodluck E. Jonathan. GCON
But on Thursday, April 22, 2010, The Nigerian Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said that media reports that the federal government was to borrow about U S$ 950 million to finance the 2010 budget was ‘absolutely wrong’.
Mr. Aganga told journalists after witnessing the signing of the 2010 budget by Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, that the government would not borrow to fund the budget.
Instead, he said, the deficit in the budget would be financed through other sources of revenue, including the sales of some assets and about US$ 500 million bond to be raised from the international market.
According to the Minister, ‘this is absolutely wrong. We are not borrowing a to fund the budget, I think what they are referring to is our cooperation with the World Bank which, as you know, helps a number of developing countries.
The minister further explained that the government had made it clear on how it intended to finance the budget deficit of about 1.52 trillion naira.
So we ask, is the Federal Government lying?