Nigerian Government and the 36 States have agreed to obtain loans from international financial organisations to the tune of US$9 billion.
The National Economic Council (NEC), which comprises the 36 state governors and chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, rose from its monthly meeting at the naion’s capital, Abuja, approving the loan portfolio for both federal and state governments after receiving briefing on the available facilities from the Minister of Finance and Coirinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Defending the decision to borrow, governor Peter Obi of Anambra state, southeast Nigeria, said the National Assembly had already approved the borrowing plan for the 2013-2014, adding that the loans will be strictly for development projects.
“The Coordinating Minister for the Economy (CME) briefed the Council on the current facilities made available by different international funding organizations including Islamic Development Bank, IDA, African Development Bank, French Development Agency as well as Chinese and Indian Exim Banks totaling about $9 billion dollars for projects development.
“The facilities which have up to 10 years moratorium and 40 years repayment periods are available to both the Federal and State Governments to fund high impact projects towards improving infrastructure, agriculture and employment generation”, governor Obi said.
According to him, about US$450 million of the loans, will be used to fund erosion projects in the eastern states, including Edo and Cross Rivers, adding that all the states have specific purpose for which they are getting the loan.
He said Council therefore, urged the states to “meet the requirements for the loans and to ensure that the facilities are meant to fund meaningful projects in their states”.