World Bulletin / News Desk
The 109-member senate -- almost evenly distributed between the ruling All Progressive Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party -- overwhelmingly voted “Nay” to the consideration of the presidential proposal.
No debate on the external borrowing proposal thus took place. Two opposition senators, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu Agency they had rejected the request because "the president just wanted us to grant anticipatory approval without giving the details".
The nay vote comes a day after majority leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said they would approve the presidential request because it was key to jump-starting the economy, which is officially in recession.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party had last week urged parliament to reject the borrowing plan, insisting it would plunge the country into serious debt.
In a letter to the parliament leadership dated Oct. 20, the president had said the loan was to be used for various developmental projects, employment, social safety programs and poverty reduction.
Presidential spokesmen could not be reached for comment on the senate decision.
The rejection of the plan could only be temporary. If the lower house okays the measure as predicted by its majority leader, the senate might be forced to reconsider its position with a request that the president gives them more details.
President Buhari has yet to honor the Oct. 6 parliament's summons on the state of the economy.