Buhari's administration to borrow $22b to fund infrastructure

The Buhari administration on Tuesday, requested the Nigerian Senate to approve the borrowing of $22.8 billion (dollars) for development of infrastructure across the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, made the presentation on behalf of the federal government, when she appeared before Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.

According to the Minister, the $22b loan is part of an external borrowing plan designed to enhance productivity of the economy via development of roads, railway lines, electricity projects, agriculture among other sectors.

She said the loan sought for involved states and and federal government, noting that the state governments would be responsible for their own repayments.

According to her, the loan will also assist in provision of soft loan for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) in the country and ultimately improve employment generation in the country.

Ahmed said what Nigeria had was a revenue problem and not debt problem, noting that the nation’s revenue profile was sustainable. This, she said was evidenced in the nation’s debt to Gross Domestic (GDP) sustainability ratio which stood at 25 per cent .

She said, if the loan sought for was approved and disbursed, the nation Debt to GDP sustainability index would be 20 per cent. This, she said was below the World Bank threshold of 55 per cent.

She said the government was making frantic efforts to address the revenue challenge facing the nation.
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