The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun yesterday denied a report published by Financial Times implying that Nigeria has applied for emergency loans from the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
The minister, in a statement by her Special Adviser on Media Matters, Mr. Festus Akanbi, said Nigeria had not applied for any emergency loan.
According to the FT report, the Nigerian government asked the World Bank and AfDB for $3.5bn in emergency loans to fill a growing gap in its budget, a development it said is the latest sign of the economic damage being wrought on oil-rich nations by tumbling crude prices.
It further said the request from President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is intended to help fund a $15bn budget deficit, which has been deepened by a hefty increase in public spending as Nigeria attempts to stimulate a slowing economy.
The statement quoted Mrs. Adeosun as saying “the truth is that Nigeria, as part of the plans to fund the 2016 budget currently undergoing the approval process of the National Assembly, has indicated an intention to borrow N1.8trillion principally for investment in capital projects to stimulate the economy”.
It further quoted her as saying the option to turn to the World Bank is to ensure an optimum financing structure.
She noted that the 2016 budget is part of the Medium-term Expenditure Framework of the Federal government, which the World Bank is aware of.
The proposed budget deficit of N1.84 trillion, according to the minister, will be funded equally through external and domestic sources.
Nigeria is exploring the options of multi-lateral agencies like the World Bank and AFDB and export credit agencies such as China Exim Bank due to their concessionary interest rates.