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World Bank to review $1.5bn borrowing plan by Nigerian states next week



World Bank to review $1.5bn borrowing plan by Nigerian states next week

The World Bank will Monday review an application for a total sum of $1.5 billion by Nigerian states.

Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank’s country director for Nigeria, made the disclosure on Thursday at the virtual presentation of the latest Nigeria Development Update (NDU), noting that Nigeria government’s request for a $1.5 billion budget support facility “is still in the works.”

“The $1.5 billion request is slated for presentation to our board next week actually, for approval. That is two separate $750 million request.

“One of them is to support the states’ fiscal resources, but on a performance-based mechanism. Also, it is for financing states’ fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability programme.

“And the other is meant to support the respond of the states towards protecting livelihoods, food security and local economic activities. So, those are the two requests that are going to be considered by our board by Monday,” Chaudhuri said.

Read also: Nigerians risk reversal of decades of economic growth – World Bank

The World Bank forecasted in the NDU that the population of poor people in Nigeria would soar by 15 to 20 million by 2022.

The World Bank official observed that Nigeria was at a crucial point in history with a chance break away from “business as usual” and advance to its huge potential by sustaining bold reforms that have been deployed, while promoting quicker and more inclusive economic expansion.

Marco Hernandez, World Bank’s lead economist for Nigeria, said “Nigeria can build on its reform momentum to contain the spread of COVID-19, stimulate the economy and enable the private sector to be the engine of growth and job creation.”

“It can also redirect public spending from subsidies that benefit the rich towards investments in Nigeria’s people and youth in particular and lay foundations for a strong recovery to help make progress towards lifting 100 million people out of poverty.”

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