The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun has confirmed that Nigeria is expecting a loan of US$1.5 billion from the World Bank to support budget funding.
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The Minister at a press meeting on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund signaled that the concessionary loan is expected to come in soon.
He stated that talks on the loan request had progressed for some time now, adding that it will come with a near zero interest rate. There has been concerns around rising debt service obligations of the country.
“Talks with the World Bank on $1.5 billion budget support, is correct. The World Bank is the number one multilateral development bank for helping developing countries fund own projects and programs. It has free money through International Development Association (IDA).
“It has this for the poorer countries and right now I think we qualify as one of the countries that are almost in the normal window of the World Bank funding but also some concessionary IDA funding.
“That means that effectively, the interest rate will be zero. Therefore, there is no stigma at all attached with qualifying for a World Bank funding to help finance development.
“In this particular case, its long been in the pipeline, and we are hoping that that funding will come through soon. A lot of hard work is being done. There’s a Federal Executive Council meeting on Monday that should be able to discuss this as well as other initiatives for financing of reasonable term.
“We’ve talked about the high costs of money, but the World bank money is the cheapest,” – Wale Edun said.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur