The Late 5: Buhari’s proposed $5.5bn loan could take up to 30 years to repay, FG releases N3.5bn for vaccination programme, and other top stories

Good evening.

Here are the top 5 stories that drove conversation today:

It’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s second day in Turkey where he is attending the D-8 Summit and, as you’d expect, is doing whatever he can to portray Nigeria in the best light.

In a statement, President Buhari outlined how he plans to make Nigeria more attractive for business and investment, explaining how his administration is committed to creating an enabling environment.

Some would argue that the most part of his statement sounded like campaign promises. Read his full statement here and decide for yourself.

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Meanwhile, back in Nigeria, the Minister of Transportation Chibuike Amaechi said President Buhari has ordered that the ongoing central rail projects should run through all 36 states in the country.

Speaking a meeting on President Buhari’s $5.5 billion loan request, the minister said the central rail project which runs through the northern and southern part of the country will be completed in June 2018.

Here’s more on what Amechi said at the meeting.

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Speaking of President Buhari’s $5.5 billion loan request, the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun revealed to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts that it may take between five to 30 years before the loan being sought by the president can be repaid. Here’s why.

In response, the chairman of the committee Senator Shehu Sani said if Nigeria must borrow, it must borrow responsibly.

“If we must bequeath to the future generation a pile of debt, it must be justified with commensurate infrastructural proof of the value of the debt,” he said.

See his full response to the committee on the president’s request, here.

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In other news, the federal government has released the sum of N3.5 billion for the vaccination programme against communicable diseases.

The government also said that vaccination campaign for measles in the 17 states in the Southern part of the country has been fixed to start from 8th March 2018.

Here are more details on what the money will be used for.

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In the United States, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo has urged President Donald Trump to prepare for military option against North Korea.

Pompeo said the United States needs to act as if North Korea is on the verge of being able to strike it with a missile and act accordingly, but also revealed President Trump was not ready to do so.

This is, however, odd considering that Pompeo’s comment is coming after former CIA Director John Brennan put the chances of military conflict with North Korea as high as 20% to 25%.

Find out more on the proposed military action, here.

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