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AfDB to revisit Nigeria for final loans agreement




Preparations are in top gear for another visit to Nigeria by a delegation of the African Development Bank (AfDB) before the end of January 2017.

The visit, billed to take place before the end of January 2017 is aimed at revisiting the loan application of $1 billion, of which $600 million had been approved.

An official of the Debt Management Office (DMO), who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the visit will review of the conditions, which the banks handed over to Nigeria to meet.

The conditions include; reviewing the internally generated revenue by the government agencies, identifying projects that the loans will be invested in as well as selling government equity shares in most public assets, among others.

But an analyst, Yinka Aderigbagbe described the recent statistics obtained from the DMO, detailing the country’s rise in debt profile of $23 billion, as at November 2016, as unwelcomed situation that should not be allowed to pile up further.

He said, “Government should not have be in a hurry to topping up its local and foreign loans intake since the Chinese $6 billion special loan deal and the recent AfDB, $1 billion facility, all for the 2016 budget is akin to selling the economic independence of Nigeria.”

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According to him, there is yet to be an understanding between the Ministries of Finance, Budget and Planning as well as the DMO on how best to commit the country in foreign loans, given its already accommodated loans’ repayment schedule not in favour of the economic recovery.

But other economists said the debt profile will continue to grow until policy makers find lasting solution towards diversifying Nigeria’s economy, currently devastated by fall in price of crude oil in the international market.

However, a DMO official said there was no cause for alarm as most of the loans were obtained at very good conditionalities and with long term servicing.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said the country would not take any foreign loan that will not give needed relief to its citizens.

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