Nigeria In Talks With World Bank For $2.5bn Loan

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed

The World Bank says the Nigeria Government has approached it for a $2.5 billion concessionary loan.

Speaking during an interview on Wednesday in Abuja, Hafez Ghanem, World Bank’s vice-president for Africa, said the lender was in talks with the Nigerian government

The Bretton Wood institution official said Nigeria received $2.4 billion from the bank in 2018.

“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 .

Ghanem said it was highly imperative for issue of power to be resolved in Nigeria in order to boost the economy.

“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.”

Ghanem said the World Bank would support Nigeria’s digital transformation because of its potential ability to transform other areas of the economy including industry, agriculture and services.

Commenting on the country’s debt profile, Zainab Ahmed, minister of budget, national planning and finance, said the country had a revenue problem ; not a debt problem.

Consequently, the federal government announced an increase in value-added tax to boost revenue.

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