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$22.7b loan will be invested in infrastructure – Ministers

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The Federal Government said on Tuesday the $22.7 billion requested by President Muhammadu Buhari in the External Borrowing Plan (2016 to 2018) would be invested in infrastructural development.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Finance,  Zaynab Ahmed and Minister of State, Transport,  Gbemisola Saraki disclosed this at a public hearing before the joint House Committees in Abuja.

The House committees are Aids, Loans and Debt Management, and Rules and Business.

According to the Debt Management Office, Nigeria’s Total Public Debt Portfolio as of June 30 stood at $83.88 billion (₦25.7 trillion).

The 8th National Assembly had received the proposed projects for 2016 to 2018 Medium Term (Rolling) External Borrowing Plan put at $30 billion.

The ministers, however, presented the same proposal at $22.7billion and gave reasons why the country should have funds as soon as possible.

They emphasised that the loans would promote infrastructural development and job creation.

The minister of finance said Nigeria the country had a revenue-generating challenge and stressed the need to invest in sustainable projects that would generate revenue for the country.

Ahmed said the loan would be “strictly for infrastructural development.

She said: “So that we can address the deficit that we have. We know we must comply with some criteria; every Kobo borrowed will be judiciously used.”

Fashola said Nigeria’s debt portfolio and debt service were being considered.

According to him, investments in capital projects were needed to help the country achieve a self-sustaining economy. (NAN)






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