Nigeria has borrowed over $1.95 billion from the World Bank, despite growing concerns by Nigerians and international bodies on the country’s rising debt burden.
Data from the Debt Management Office (DMO) shows that Nigeria’s total public debt has increased to N87.37 trillion at the end of June 2023.
This represents a 103.93% year-on-year increase compared to N42.84 trillion in Nigeria’s public debt as of June 2022.
Tinubu assumed office on May 29, 2023, the World Bank has approved three loans totalling $1.95 billion.
The loans are for education ($700 million), power ($750 million), and women empowerment ($500 million), the reports said.
Details revealed that on June 19, the federal government secured a $750 million loan from the World Bank to facilitate power projects across the nation.
The loan, with project ID P174622, was approved on June 9, 2023, making it the first World Bank loan approved under the administration of President Tinubu.
The global lender said the fresh loan would be additional financing for the power sector recovery performance-based operation. The World Bank document further disclosed that the new financing would run from 2023 to June 30, 2027.
Part of the document reads to justify the loan: “Lack of access to the electricity grid affects 45 percent of the population (90 million people), making Nigeria the country with the largest number of people not connected to electricity. As such, Nigeria accounts for 12 percent of the global access deficit.
Also, on June 27, 2023, the World Bank Group announced the approval of a loan of $500 million for women empowerment programmes.
This is the second loan approved under President Tinubu. World Bank Statement announcing the loan reads:
“The World Bank has approved $500m for Nigeria for Women Program Scale Up. The scale-up financing will further support the government of Nigeria to invest in improving the livelihoods of women in Nigeria”
Educating adolescent girls ($700 million)
The most recent loan is $700 million, approved in September 2023, to bolster educational opportunities and empowerment for adolescent girls in Nigeria.
Report has it that the new loan is to provide additional funds for an ongoing project known as the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE).
Announcing the loan, World Bank also said: “The World Bank approved add
itional financing of $700 million for Nigeria to scale up the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment program whose goal is to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted states.”
Meanwhile, the federal government has paid $1.17 billion to service foreign debt commitments in the first half of 2023.
This was captured in the Export and International Payment data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Source: Fact Check.