Nigeria has approached the World Bank for a $2.5 billion concessionary loan, Hafez Ghanem, World Bank’s vice-president for Africa has disclosed.
Speaking during an interview on Wednesday in Abuja, Ghanem disclosed the international financial institution is still in talks with the Nigerian government for the loan.
“We’re talking about a new set of programmes of about the same amount, it should be about $2.5bn,” Bloomberg quoted him to have said.
“It’s important to resolve the problems of the power sector in Nigeria to bring in more investments. Because you need to bring down the cost of power to make the economy more competitive for the development of industries.
“Nigeria has a comparative advantage in that area because of the youth, a majority of the population is young. So if we want to create jobs, we need to invest much more in the digital economy.”
The World Bank executive noted the institution would support Nigeria’s digital transformation because of its potential ability to transform other areas of the economy including industry, agriculture, and services.
Latest Nigeria News reports statistics from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed Nigeria’s debt profile increased by N560 billion between December 2018 and March 2019.
Figures as at March 2019, put the country’s total foreign debt at N7.8 trillion ($25.6 billion) while domestic debt was N17 trillion ($55.6 billion).
Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, while commenting on the nation’s debt profile said the country has a revenue problem; not a debt problem.
Recall the federal government as a way of generating more revenue, also recently approved an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) to 7.2% effective from 2020 subject to confirmation by the country’s lawmakers.