Nigeria pursues $30 billion loans to be spread over 3 years

LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigeria’s finance ministry says proposed foreign loans of $30 billion for infrastructure and other projects would be spread over three years, meaning Africa’s biggest economy would not violate a self-imposed limit for public debt.

President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking Parliament’s approval to borrow $29.6 billion — more than Nigeria’s $20 billion budget — for projects to help overcome recession in this oil-producing nation.

The official News Agency of Nigeria had reported that the Debt Management Office advised the government not to borrow above $22.08 billion dollars in 2017.

Finance Ministry spokesman Festus Akanbi clarified Thursday that the loans would be phased over three years and sought from multilateral institutions.

Analysts are skeptical, noting Nigeria has been unable to secure loans of $5 billion to plug this year’s budget deficit.