The Presidency has backed the growing external loans under which Nigeria is reeling, saying the loans are to fund projects and programmes which Nigerians benefit from.
In a statement on Saturday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, listed some bogus projects and programmes which the loans would be spent on.
The Buhari administration is under fire after the President wrote to the Senate to approve $4.054bn and €710million credit.
The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) warned that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government is trying to sell the country.
The opposition said if the legislature approves the latest request, and an additional N5.62trillion loan proposed for the 2022 budget, Nigeria’s liability under Buhari will hit “N40trillion with no clear-cut repayment plan”.
But Shehu explained that 15 projects, across the six geo-political zones, are to be financed with the anticipated funds from multilateral institutions, under the 2018-2021 medium-term (rolling) external borrowing plan.
He said the loans will be sourced from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE).
A breakdown of the ‘‘Addendum to the Proposed Pipeline Projects for the 2018-2021 Medium Term (rolling) External Borrowing Plan,’’ shows that the World Bank is expected to finance seven projects including the $125million grant for ‘‘Better Education Services for All’’.
“The Global Partnership for Education grant is expected to increase equitable access for out-of-school children and improve literacy in focus states.
“The grant, which will be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), will strengthen accountability for results in basic Education in Katsina, Oyo and Adamawa States.
“Other projects to be financed by the World Bank are, the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results as well as the Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project.
“The benefiting states for the agro-processing project are, Kogi, Kaduna, Kano, Cross River, Enugu and Lagos with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as the implementing ministry.
“The objective of the project is to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains in the participating states”, Shehu noted.
“The loan facility to be provided by European ECA/KfW/IPEX/APC will be spent on the construction of the Standard Gauge Rail (SGR) linking Nigeria with Niger Republic from Kano-Katsina-Daura-Jibiya-Maradi with a branch to Dutse.
“The specific project title, Kano-Maradi SGR with a branch to Dutse, has an implementation period of 30 months and will be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Transport.
“The Chinese African Development Fund through the Bank of China is expected to provide a loan facility of $325 million for the establishment of three power and renewable energy projects including solar cells production facility Phase I & II, electric power transformer production, Plants 1, II, III and high voltage testing laboratory.
“The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) will implement the project aimed at increasing local capacity and capability in the development of power and renewable energy technologies and infrastructure.
“Credit Suisse will finance major industrialisation projects as well as micro, small and medium enterprises schemes to be executed by the Bank of Industry while SINOSURE and Standard Chartered Bank will provide funds for the provision of 17MW Hybrid Solar Power infrastructure for the National Assembly (NASS) complex.
“The project, with an implementation period of five years, is expected to address ‘‘NASS power supply deficit and reduce the higher overhead burdensome cost of running and maintaining fossil fuel generators (25MW installed capacity) to power the assembly complex”, the statement from Shehu on Saturday added.