Nigeria’s efforts to secure int’l loans hit deadlock

ABUJA/DAVOS: Nigeria’s efforts to secure funds from international lenders to help haul it out of recession have stalled because it has not submitted the required economic reform plans, according to one of the banks and sources close to the matter.
The government has been in loan talks with the World Bank for a year.
It had told the lender it would present its proposed reforms to make the economy more resilient and attractive to investment by the end of December, according to Western diplomats and a Nigerian official who declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak publicly.
But this has not happened and as a result of the delay, which the government has not explained, the Washington-based bank has not been able to consider a loan yet, the sources said.
Nigerian finance minister Kemi Adeosun and the World Bank declined to comment.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), meanwhile, is holding back the second tranche of a $1 billion loan for Nigeria, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“We are waiting for the economic policy recovery programme and the policy framework for that,” said Adesina, without specifying when the AfDB had expected to receive the reform plans.
Nigeria has said it is seeking to borrow $4 billion in total from the World Bank and other foreign institutions and $1 billion through Euro bonds to plug a yawning budget deficit and fund badly needed infrastructure projects.
The country, which relies on oil revenue for most of its income, has been hit hard by the sharp fall in crude prices since 2014 and is struggling to drag itself out of its first recession in 25 years.
It is unclear why the government has not submitted reform plans to the international lenders.— Reuters