Zainab Ahmed
Trending Story

Nigeria’s $3bn World Bank facility ‘ll be invested in power sector — Finance Minister

698
Kunle Akinsola
Nigeria is set to access the World Bank facility of three billion dollars, according to the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed.
Speaking in Washington DC at an interactive session with  with journalists, Ahmed, disclosed that the facility which will be in two tranches would be invested in the power sector.
“There is a proposed $1.5 to $3 billion facility for the power sector development programme in Nigeria.
“And this will include the development of the transmission networks, development of the distribution networks as well as removing the challenges that we have now including within the electricity sector.
“So, we are going to have a full meeting to discuss the power sector recovery Programme. Back home we have been working a great deal with the World Bank to design  how this programme will be implemented.
“We have opportunity now to have a direct meeting with both leadership of the bank to tell them the plans that we have and this is how much we need from one to five years.
“So the funding could be as much as $3 billion, we are going to push for it to be provided in phases, phase one will be $1.5 billion and phase two will be another $1.5 billion,” the finance minister said on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC.
On IMF’s concern about Nigeria being heavily exposed to debts from China, Ahmed, disagreed with IMF’s position, saying it is not true.
“It is not true that we are heavily exposed to debts from China. We have a wide profolio of debts, a large proportion of it…right now our domestic debts is about 57 percent and foreign debts is the difference.
“We will continue to find different instruments to elongate the tenures of our debts. Our targets is to move the total portfolio to an average of 10 years tenure.”
Stressing:”For the loans that we have from China, there are projects specific loans. So China gives us loan to build the rail, major infrastructure such as the renovation of our airports.
“I think there is also some kind of negative message that is going out there that we are tied down to China, we are not. Rail is being built in Nigeria, is China going to take this rail out of Nigeria?
“The airports that have been renovated will soon be concessioned.
“They have given us very soft loans in terms of the fact that the rates are very low and part of the condition (everybody has their own interest) is that these projects must be implemented by companies that are Chinese and we don’t see anything wrong with that.”
The finance minister said the federal government must ensure that the Chinese company had the capacity to deliver the projects.
While attesting to their capabilities, Ahmed said the rails that are being deployed are “very high quality projects”.
“So let’s look at what is in the interest of Nigeria and not just what other people outside Nigeria are saying.”
On the closure of Nigeria’s borders with neighbouring countries, she said the move was to force member-states to commit themselves AfCFTA agreements.
Ahmed explained: “We needed to close the borders because we are not getting cooperation from our neigbouring countries.
“We have over the years committed to some alliances, bilateral agreements but our neigbours are not respecting those bilateral agreements and at this time when the president has signed Nigeria up to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
 “It becomes more important for us to make sure that everybody compiles with the commitments that are made.
“The practices that are neigbours are engaged in are hurting our economy, hurting our local businesses and we have to make sure that that stops. That is the purpose for the closure of the border and not generating revenue.
“That revenues are generated is the consequence but that is not the objective. It is just to ensure compliance of the commitments that we made between ourselves and our neigbouring countries.”
Asked if there is a timeline to reopen the borders as it is hurting genuine businesses in Nigeria, she said
the timeline will be when the neigbouring countries commit to comply with the commitments that we signed.
“We hope that at some points there will be discussions at the level of presidents where we will extract some commitments from our neigbours.

Leave a comment

Related Articles

Billionaire philanthropist Tony Elumelu mulls buying NPFL team

As part of his corporate social responsibility, billionaire banker and philanthropist Tony...

Terry G speaks on Davido, Wizkid, and Burna Boy rivalries, faces backlash from fans

Nigerian music sensation Terry G, also known as the Apako master, has...

Dani Alves pays €1m bail, set to leave Spanish jail

Former Brazil and Barcelona star Dani Alves, convicted of rape in Spain,...

World TB Day: 70 percent of TB cases in Africa now being diagnosed and treated – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has disclosed that about 70 percent of...

13th AAG: Tobi Amusan wins gold in women’s 100m hurdles

The Nigerian sprint star, Tobi Amusan, won gold in the women’s 100m...

FG approves N12.7bln for mass metering of army barracks nationwide

The Federal Government says it has released N12.7 billion to provide electricity...

Women’s Day: Tinubu felicitates women, vows to prioritise their welfare, rights

President Bola Tinubu has promised to prioritize the welfare of women, protect...

All African Games: Nigeria’s Flying Eagles start their campaign on a losing note

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria started their campaign in the men’s football...

EFCC sets up task force to combat dollarization of economy, mutilation of naira

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the setting up...

How Bafarawa diverted N4.6bln from ex-NSA for prayers, election, acquire luxury vehicles

A startling revelation has been made about how a former governor of...

CBN redeploys 1,500 staff to Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has redeployed 1,500 staff...

AFCON: Pres. Tinubu says unimpressed with Super Eagles’ performance

President Bola Tinubu has expressed his displeasure over the performance of the...

I’ve not met a man kind enough to marry —Ini Edo

In a candid revelation, renowned actress, Ini Edo, has hinted about the...

Ogun CP visits shot Nollywood actor, Ijaduade, vows to punish trigger-happy cop

Nollywood actor and Director, Azeez Ijaduade, who was shot “accidentally” by a...

Breaking: Actor, Azeez Ijaduade, allegedly shot by policeman in Ogun

In a shocking incident that has sent shock waves to Yoruba section...

Fast and furious actor, Vin Diesel, accused of sexual assault

Vin Diesel, known for his role in the Fast & Furious Series,...

Anyone asking for money this festive season lacks conscience, fear God – Comedian AY

Amid Nigeria’s challenging economic downturn, renowned comedian, Ayo Makun, popularly known as...

Octogenarian actor, Dejumo Lewis, dies

Nollywood community was on Friday night thrown into grief as the news...

I’m lucky to have you as my wife, Lateef praises Mo Bimpe on 2nd wedding anniversary

Celebrating their second year wedding anniversary, Nollywood actor, Lateef Adedimeji, has expressed...

Frank Edoho faces backlash for controversial remarks on infidelity

Renowned media personality, Frank Edoho, is under fire after making contentious comments...