Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has stated that Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved an application to secure a budget support loan worth $1.5billion and an additional $80 million from the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) respectively.
The Minister said the funds will be utilised for various projects in crucial sectors of the nation’s economy. Adding that Nigeria qualified for the “relatively cheap” loans given its “macro-economic moves” in the past couple of months since President Bola Tinubu assumed office.
Wale Edun, while speaking with State House Correspondents, noted that the FG would receive $1.5bn as a whole before the end of the year, provided it fulfilled its end of the deal.
He said, “Council approved today the application for financing from the World Bank. And in particular, the International Development Association, which is the virtually free or zero-interest lending arm or financing arm of the World Bank.
“The total is $1.5bn. The world today is one of the high-interest rates as the developed world looks to fight inflation. They do it by restricting money, and keeping interest rates high so that you can get inflation down.
“That means that interest rates for everybody else become not just high but very painful, if not unaffordable within that context.”
Edun clarified that Nigeria took macroeconomic moves and tough decisions to restore balance in its economy, warranting support from multilateral development banks.
“The bold, brave, courageous and decisive measures that Mr President has taken are being rewarded by processing for Nigeria $1.5bn of immediate financing, which, provided that we do everything on our side, will be in before the end of the year.
“It is based on that the World Bank is willing to consider and to process on our behalf $1.5bn of concessional financing, relatively cheap financing and financing that will be dispersed relatively quickly.
“And it comes in one go. It doesn’t drip as will be done for a project and is just to support the reform effort. And that was what was presented to the Federal Executive Council, and the members approved that we go ahead with that financing given that it is affordable,” said Edun.
The former Lagos Finance Commissioner said lags would exist between the cause and effect of the recent reform.
Although some effects are in place, such as the relative reduction in smuggling and rising domestic production in some areas, ‘it takes time before the full benefits are in,” he noted.
The Finance Minister also revealed that the Council approved $80million financing from the African Development Bank.
He explained, “This financing is for a project in Ekiti called the Ekiti Knowledge Zone Project. EKZ is basically to support young people and their quest to take on technology to use it to be employed, trained and benefit from being part of the knowledge economy, being part of the technological wave that is present very much in Nigeria, which is becoming a bigger and bigger share of the economy.
“The bold, brave, courageous and decisive measures that Mr President has taken are being rewarded by processing for Nigeria $1.5 billion of immediate financing, provided that we do everything on our side before the end of the year.
“So, it’s $80 million to help the young people in the sector of the knowledge economy, technology and communications generally.”