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Power Sector: FG secures fresh $3 billion dollar loan from World Bank

Nigeria has acquired new loan of $3bilion dollars from the World Bank to address transmission and distribution challenge in the power sector.

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance made this known to journalists on Sunday during a side event at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group held in Washington DC.

Ahmed said that inclusive of the request made to the IMF for technical assistance in Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), assistance on business continuity regulation the country asked especially for financing the power sector with loan in the range of $1.5 billion to $4 billion.

The request the minister said is expected to mitigate the huge gap between the current tariff and the actual cost of generating electricity while providing resource needed to settle accrued debts in the sector to ensure continuity of operations within the sector.

The loan is to be released in four tranches of $750 million each, with possible room for loan expansion up to $ 4 billion dollars.

“At the end of the day, it is like we would be looking at the funding size of $3 billion that will be provided in four tranches of $750 million each.

“Our plan is that the team will be able to go to the World Bank for the approval of the first tranche in April 2020,” she said.

Ahmed also revealed that if the government is able to grab a loan of $4 billion, the added $1 billion will be allocated to the distribution privately run Distribution Companies.

Based on the World Bank 2019 economic analysis in sub- Saharan Africa, 24 countries within the region will enjoy increase in their per capita income, however, Nigeria will see weak performance in its economic outlook.

In 2018, Nigeria had approached the IMF for fund in the power sector and a loan of $486 billion dollars was awarded to increase transmission. Currently, the country’s total external debt as at March 2019, stood at N7.8 trillion ($25.6 billion) while internal debt was N17 trillion ($55.6 billion).

 

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