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FG to get fresh $2.2bn World Bank loan – Edun

The federal government is expecting a fresh $2.2 billion single-digit interest loan from the World Bank and another budget support facility from the African Development…

The federal government is expecting a fresh $2.2 billion single-digit interest loan from the World Bank and another budget support facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, disclosed this during a press briefing at the end of Nigeria’s activities at the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC in the United States.

While speaking on the sources of international funding to the Nigerian economy, Edun listed diaspora remittances, foreign portfolio investments and facilities from the World Bank and other international development partners.

He said, “We have qualified for the processing just this week to the Board of Directors of the World Bank of a total package of $2.25bn of what you can call ‘the closest you can get to a free lunch’; virtually a grant. It’s for about 10 to 20 years moratorium and about one per cent interest.

“In addition, there is a similar budgetary support – low-interest funding – from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and, clearly, there are also ongoing discussions with foreign direct investors across many sectors.”

Edun also tapped issuing dollar-denominated securities specifically targeted at Nigerians in the diaspora and those with foreign-denominated savings in Nigeria as another measure to attract forex inflows into the country.

He said the federal government hoped to issue the bonds later this year.

He highlighted the efforts of the fiscal side of the economy in complementing the recent monetary policy reforms by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said that issuing government securities at an interest rate closer to the CBN’s Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) was an indication of the collaboration between both sides of the economy in tackling inflation in the country and attracting forex inflows.

He listed the agricultural sector as one area the Bola Tinubu administration was looking to spur growth in the medium-term, noting that efforts in that area included the distribution of fertilisers and seeds to reduce food prices and enhance food security.

Other programmes, according to the minister, are increasing power generation to about 6,000 megawatts within six months, provision of infrastructure, especially housing, with the goal of making low-interest mortgages available to Nigerians, revamping of the social investment programme and proposed economic stabilisation plan.

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