World Bank Denies Disagreeing With Adeosun On Borrowing
So, it appears international lender, the World Bank is on the same page with Nigeria as regards the need to borrow more money to finance infrastructure.
This is against earlier reports that the lender disagreed with Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun that Nigeria does not have the capacity to sustain interest payment on what it has already borrowed.
The Minister, while speaking at the close of IMF's annual meeting in Washington on Sunday, said Nigeria must borrow more to develop critical infrastructure.
The World Bank's Senior Economist, Gloria Joseph-Raji, had been quoted by Punch on Monday as saying in Abuja, that the cost of borrowing or paying interest on Nigeria’s debt was not sustainable as revenues to make such payment have dried up.
But in a letter to Adeosun on Wednesday, the World Bank made a u-turn on its stand, saying it didn’t disagree with her.
The bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, said instead that the bank commended the Federal Government for efforts to rebalance the nation’s debt portfolio.
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According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, Oluyinka Akintunde, Benmessaoud was quoted to have said:
“On October 11, during the launch of Africa’s Pulse, the World Bank’s biannual analysis of African economies, the World Bank Senior Economist for Nigeria, Gloria Joseph-Raji, was asked by a reporter to share her views on the Federal Government’s plan to increase external borrowing.
“At no point did she mention that the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria disagree on the need to rebalance the country’s debt portfolio. Where expenditures exceed revenue, governments will need to borrow.
“In doing so, the Federal Government is trying to rebalance its portfolio towards more external borrowing with lower interest rates and longer maturities.”
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