The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it wants to raise about $5bn abroad to cover part of its 2016 budget deficit. To this effect, President Muhammadu Buhari will sign a loan deal with China during a visit next week.
This loan is supposed to help the government to finance the infrastructure projects which Nigeria is in dire need of.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media, while speaking with Reuters, said that he would not disclose the amount of money the country is about to loan from China until the day it is signed. He also spoke about the two countries – China and Nigeria strengthening their ties.
“I can’t tell you how much until the day the loan will be signed. Both countries will also be signing some bilateral agreements to strengthen their relationship; that is all I can say now.”
The economy of the country has been hit hard by a slump in oil prices and the Federal Government has been in talks with China’s export Import Bank for a loan for months.
A financial source said the loan would fund Chinese firms’ infrastructure projects in Nigeria.
In February, financial and government sources said the loan could be as high as $2 bn. However, we are still in the dark pertaining to the exact amount as officials have not provided an update since then.
The Federal Government has said that the 2016 budget deficit could be as high as N3tn ($15bn).
On the other hand, Nigerians generally are beginning to express their frustration with President Buhari’s administration, with many saying that he is really slow and uneffective. It is hoped that this trip would bring a turn around where the change would be seen for real in the nation, especially with the economy.