Nigeria: Federal Government Announced an Executable task of Investing $ 3.5 Billion World Bank Loan to the Power Sector
By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- Nigeria, federal government on Thursday, said it is in the process of investing a fresh N915billion ($3.5billion) World Bank loan into the power sector.
Heedless of spending N1.5trillion in the sector in the last two years, the federal government of Nigeria through the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning – Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this during an interview with the media; on additional meetings in Washington DC – United States.
Ahmed said she would be holding further discussions with the management of the World Bank to explain how the fresh loan it is seeking would be disbursed for the country’s power project.
The minister noted, the loan would be judiciously utilized for the development of transmission and distribution networks to carry the delivery of electricity to the nation of Nigeria.
In addendum, Mrs. Ahmed said; the loan would be used in situating the challenges presently faced by country in the power sector.
She said, the government would disburse $ 3 billion facility into slices of $ 1.5billion each. She noted, “Nigeria does not have a debt problem. What we have is a revenue problem. Our revenue to GDP is still one of the lowest among countries that are comparable to us.
“It’s about 19 % of GDP and what the World Bank and IMF recommended is about 50 % of GDP for countries that are our size. We are not there yet. What we have is a revenue problem.
“The underperformance of our revenue is causing a significant strain in our ability to service debt and to service government day-to-day recurrent expenditure and that is why all the work we are doing at the Ministry of Finance is concentrating on driving the increase in revenue.’’
However, the national Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers, Engr. Dr. Ayodeji Adeyemo has stated that Nigeria can generate almost $ 300 billion from iron ore and lead.
He said with the available reserves of iron ore and lead, Nigeria can generate $ 280 billion and $ 12billion respectively.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent