The federal government on Thursday, October 17 said it is in the process of investing a fresh N915billion ($3.5billion) World Bank loan into the power sector.
This is despite spending N1.5trillion in the sector in the last two years
Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this during an interview with journalists on the sidelines of international meetings in Washington DC, United States.
Ahmed said she would be holding further discussions with the management of the World Bank to explain how the fresh loan it is seeking would be disbursed for the country’s power project.
According to her, the loan would be used for the development of transmission and distribution networks to enhance the delivery of electricity.
She also said the loan would be used in addressing some of the challenges that the country is currently facing in the power sector.
The minister further disclosed that the government would be disbursing the $3bn facility in two tranches of $1.5bn each.
Addressing concerns that Nigeria might be grappling with debt problems, she said, “Nigeria does not have a debt problem. What we have is a revenue problem. Our revenue to GDP is still one of the lowest among countries that are comparable to us.
“It’s about 19 per cent of GDP and what the World Bank and IMF recommended is about 50 percent of GDP for countries that are our size. We are not there yet. What we have is a revenue problem.
“The underperformance of our revenue is causing a significant strain in our ability to service debt and to service government day-to-day recurrent expenditure and that is why all the work we are doing at the ministry of finance is concentrating on driving the increase in revenue.’’
Meanwhile, the national chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers, Engr. Dr. Ayodeji Adeyemo has stated that Nigeria can generate almost $300billion from iron ore and lead.
He said with the available reserves of iron ore and lead, Nigeria can generate $280billion and $12billion respectively.
Source: Legit NG