Monday, October 16, 2023

Nigeria looking for $1.5 Billion Loan From World Bank

Nigeria’s government is seeking a $1.5 billion loan from the World Bank to help fund its budget, Finance Minister Wale Edun said, as the International Monetary Fund welcomed recent government reforms and said it’s open to funding the West African nation.

The authorities in Nigeria have “concluded plans” to seek funding from the World Bank, including concessional financing from the International Development Association, the Lagos-based ThisDay newspaper quoted Edun as saying. The IDA is an arm of the World Bank that provides help to the world’s poorer countries.

The cabinet will discuss the proposal to seek World Bank funding at a Federal Executive Council meeting in the capital, Abuja, on Monday, ThisDay reported. The meeting, confirmed by the presidency, will be the FEC’s first since Aug. 28.

Nigeria is seeking funding as it implements a series of economic reforms to accelerate economic growth and support more the than 40% of its 200 million people who live in poverty. Over the past eight years, the nation’s debt has increased almost eight-fold to more than $110 billion, and servicing those obligations consumed 96% of government revenue in 2022.

The IMF welcomed the recent reforms, including unifying Nigeria’s various exchange rates, and said it’s prepared to help the government.

“As every member country of the IMF, Nigeria can seek IMF financing if they see this as helpful to address external imbalances,” the Lagos-based Punch newspaper quoted the fund as saying. “The Nigerian authorities have not approached the IMF with a request for financing.”


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