There are strong indications that the Federal Government is seeking a loan of $5bn from the World Bank Group to boost power availability in Nigeria.
According to The Punch Newspaper, the Federal Government was actually seeking a loan of $5bn to be channelled into the power sector in order to boost electricity availability in the country.
In April, the World Bank had said that a powerful delegation from Nigeria was in Washington DC to discuss assistance for the nation’s power sector, but did not disclose the details of the talks.
Those present at the meeting in Washington DC on April 25, 2017 were the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel and Metallurgy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Power, Mr. Dan Asuquo.
After the meeting, the World Bank Group had said that it would deploy a full range of instruments to mobilise investments to resolve Nigeria’s energy crisis.
The Director of Operations at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, an arm of the World Bank Group, Sarvesh Suri, said a full range of instruments would be deployed to help the government mobilise investments directly from the private sector and through private sector guarantees.
According to the Debt Management Office, out of Nigeria’s external debt of $13.81bn as of March 31, 2017, the World Bank Group had a portfolio of $6.93bn.
Literally, it means that the World Bank holds more than 50 per cent of the country’s external debt portfolio.
Should the loan being sought by the Federal Government be approved, Nigeria’s indebtedness to the World Bank would rise to about $11bn, excluding other smaller loans that have been approved after the March 31 accounting date.