For insisting that Nigeria must officially devalue its local currency, the naira, the Federal Government may have closed all intention of seeking for loan facilities from the International Monetary Fund.
The country has instead gone for a total loan package of $2.3 billion from the World Bank and China’s Export-Import Bank, according to the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
Adeosun, who disclosed this to a foreign news network, on Tuesday, said the “Federal Government was hoping to sign in the next few months a loan worth $1.3 billion from China’s Export-Import Bank to fund railway projects and another $1 billion from the World Bank.”
The minister, confirmed that from all indications, there was no need to apply for an IMF loan as the government was pursuing its own economic reform plan.
Nigeria’s economy had fallen into deep recession, its worst record in more than 25 years, prompted largely by a steep decline in foreign exchange earnings triggered by fallen price of crude oil and low oil production levels.
This has prompted suggestions that the country may need the IMF funding to cover a growing budget deficit.
According to Adeosun: “For us, the IMF is really a lender of last resort when you have balance of payments problem. Nigeria doesn’t have balance of payments problems per se; it has a fiscal problem.
Adeosun said “We are already doing as much reform as any IMF programme would impose on Nigeria. Nigerians want to take responsibility for their future. We must have our home-grown, home-designed programme of reform.”
The minister stated that non-oil revenues were improving while the government was fine-tuning an economic reform plan needed to support an application for a loan of at least $1 billion from the World Bank.
She said Nigeria is still seeking further funds from the African Development Bank, adding that with non-oil revenue improving steadily, all measures put in place were beginning to yield fruits.
“Oil production is back up; we are very grateful for that, but we should be careful for getting excited about that.
“The country needs to plug a gap in its record of $23.17bn 2017 budget proposal, which contains a number of measures aimed at stimulating the economy,” she said.
The Federal Government will also present its economic proposal to the African Development Bank to help release a second loan tranche worth $400m to support the budget, officials have said.
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