World Bank $2.1bn loan: Expert warns FG on debt overhang
.Says Nigeria must not be at the mercy of World Bank economic power
By Udeme Clement
The National President, Constance Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria, Shehu Mallam Mikail has warned that the $2.1bn loan granted Nigeria by the World Bank should not put the nation’s economy at the mercy of world bank economic power.
Mikail said this in a chat with Financial Business in Lagos, stressed that the loan granted for seven projects including electricity must have clear terms of agreement between the World Bank and Nigerian government, and must be used for specific projects that the money is allocated for.
He said, “The Federal Government should desist from excessive borrowing, especially as the nation’s economy is just recovering from recession. Also, there should be clear terms of agreement. Why is it now when election is next year, that World Bank is giving us loan?”
He went on, “Nigeria’s economy has what it takes to be a leading world economy, but lacks transparency, continuity in government policies and implementation. We must realise that the world investors are watching Nigeria and studying the political game among the players now”.
Mikail warned, “This loan should not be another way of accumulating debt in the system. This is because at present, we do not have transparent policy framework and implementation strategy”.
Accordingly, the World Bank last week granted Nigeria $2.1billion loan to be used exclusively for seven projects in the country, in order to support government’s economic growth plan.
In a statement by the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, the projects include nutrition, access to electricity (power generation), polio eradication, women’s economic empowerment, public finance and national statistics as well as reducing vulnerability to soil erosion.