Daily Trust (Abuja)

6 November 2012

Nigeria: Okonjo-Iweala Seeks Reps Approval of U.S.$9 Billion Borrowing Plan

Photo: Vanguard
Budget 2013

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala yesterday in Abuja urged the House of Representatives to approve a $9 billion external borrowing plan from 2012 to 2015.

Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, made this known at a meeting with the House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt.

She said that the ministry had proposed to swap some existing loans to kick start other key projects like housing, mortgage financing, agriculture and water supply.

According to her, a Euro bond of $100 million would be sourced to attract Diaspora investment into the country.

The minister explained that the borrowing plans were specific operations aimed at supporting specific projects in different states of the federation.

She said that a proposal for $200 million has been made to support agriculture financing across the country.

Okonjo- Iweala said that $44 million was being sourced from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to also upgrade hospital facilities in Kaduna. However, the minister only gave details of $344 million but didn't disclose how the remaining $6.6 billion would sourced and used for.

The minister assured that the country's external borrowing profile was in good shape, adding that the Debt Management Office (DMO) was monitoring borrowing profiles of the 36 states to avoid the piling up of debts.

Rep. Adeyika Ajayi (ACN-Osun), the Chairman of the committee, said that the essence of the meeting was to get details of the request for additional borrowing plan as contained in the 2013 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Also yesterday, House Committee Chairman on Climate Change, Rep Eziuche Ubani, said the House has not fixed any specific date for the passage of the 2013 budget,

Ubani said that the National Assembly still has issues with the level of implementation of the 2012 budget.

"We are not satisfied with level of implementation of the 2012 budget across board so it is only reasonable that we insist on its full implementation. We are still carrying out oversight. There are a lot of capital projects that have not been awarded if you slam another budget by December there will be problem."

With Agency Report

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