FG seeks $2.3bn loans from W/Bank, China …says no need for IMF loan

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Oyetunji Abioye with agency report

The Federal Government is seeking to borrow at least $1bn from the World Bank and another $1.3bn from China’s Export-Import Bank, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said.

Officials said the country was planning to finalise its proposal to the World Bank this month.

Adeosun told CNBC on Tuesday that the Federal Government was  hoping to sign in the next few months a loan worth $1.3bn from China’s Export-Import Bank to fund railway projects.

The minister, however, said there was no need to apply for an International Monetary Fund programme as the Federal Government was pursuing its own economic reform plan, Reuters reported quoting CNBC.

Sharp falls in the price of crude oil, which have made the naira to tumble following the steep fall in foreign exchange revenue, have plunged the economy into its first recession in 25 years.

This has prompted suggestions that the country may need the IMF funding to cover a growing budget deficit.

Adeosun told CNBC in the interview, “For us, the IMF is really a lender of last resort when you have balance of payments problem. Nigeria doesn’t have balance of payments problems per se; it has a fiscal problem.

“We are already doing as much reform as any IMF programme would impose on Nigeria. Nigerians want to take responsibility for their future. We must have our home-grown, home-designed programme of reform.”

The minister stated that non-oil revenues were improving while the government was fine-tuning an economic reform plan needed to support an application for a loan of at least $1bn from the World Bank.

It is also seeking further funds from the African Development Bank.

“Non-oil revenue is improving very steadily. All the measures we have put in place are beginning to yield fruits,” she said, without giving numbers.

“Oil production is back up; we are very grateful for that, but we should be careful for getting excited about that,” she added.

The country needs to plug a gap in its record N7.3tn ($23.17bn) 2017 budget proposal, which contains a number of measures aimed at stimulating the economy.

The government had initially promised to submit an economic plan to the World Bank by the end of December but did not do so, sources told Reuters last month.

The Federal Government will also present its economic proposal to the African Development Bank to help release a second loan tranche worth $400m to support the budget, officials have said.

Adeosun also said one or two banks had yet to remit the Federal Government’s revenues to the Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Federal Government had in 2015 introduced the TSA policy as part of an anti-corruption drive, draining the banking system of liquidity.

“We have written to all banks,” Adeosun told CNBC, adding that one or two lenders had yet to move revenues to the new account.

Copyright PUNCH.               
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Facebook Comments

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *