Abuja – Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sought parliamentary approval for nearly $5 billion in additional external borrowing to help fight insecurity and for infrastructure projects.
Africa’s most populous country was hit hard by the global coronavirus pandemic and a slump in world oil prices vital to its petroleum-reliant economy.
Growth has bounced back, but insecurity, kidnapping and criminal attacks have surged this year in northwest and central states while food inflation remains stubbornly high.
In a letter to lawmakers, the Nigerian president said the government plans to finance projects through sovereign loans from the World Bank, China-EXIM Bank and other global financial institutions.
“In view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved…, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan,” the letter said.
Buhari asked the upper legislature to consider the fresh request under the country’s 2018-2021 borrowing plan for execution of national and state government projects.
Nigeria in early September also announced it will raise over $3 billion from the issue of Eurobonds to fund its 2021 budget deficit.
The West African nation’s Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed confirmed that the government plans to fund 50 percent of the 2021 budget deficit from external borrowing while the remaining funds will be raised locally.
Picture: Getty Images