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External Borrowing Plan: Presidency lists projects, beneficiaries

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President Muhammad Buhari
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The Presidency says a total of 15 projects, spread across the six geo-political zones of the country, are to be financed with more than $4 billion from multilateral institutions.

The loan is under the 2018-2021 medium term (rolling) external borrowing plan.

Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this on Saturday in Abuja.

He revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had already requested the Senate to approve sovereign loans of $4.054billion and €710million as well as grant components of $125million for the proposed projects.

He quoted the letter by the president as saying that the sovereign 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).

He said: “The President’s request to the Senate listed 15 proposed pipeline projects, the objectives, the implementation period, benefiting states, as well as the implementing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“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’.’’

According to him, the Global Partnership for Education grant is expected to increase equitable access for out-of-school children and improve literacy in focus states.

He expressed the hope that the grant, which would be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), would strengthen accountability for results in basic Education in Katsina, Oyo and Adamawa States.

Other projects to be financed by the World Bank, according to Shehu, are the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results as well as the Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project.

He said the benefiting states for the agro-processing project included, Kogi, Kaduna, Kano, Cross River, Enugu and Lagos with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as the implementing ministry.

The presidential aide stated that the objective of the project was to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains in the participating states.

Shehu added that the World Bank would also be financing the Nigeria Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Imo and Plateau States, for the next five years.

According to him, the project, when completed, is expected to improve rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene nationwide towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water supply and sanitation by 2030.

“Under the external borrowing plan, the World Bank supported projects also include Nigeria’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (COPREP), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“The project, which has an implementation period of five years, will respond to threats posed by COVID-19 through the procurement of vaccines.

“Furthermore, no fewer than 29 states are listed as beneficiaries of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Arid Zone Landscape project, which is expected to reduce natural resource management conflicts in dry and semi-arid ecosystems in Nigeria,’’ he said.

He gave the names of the benefiting states for the project to be co-financed by World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) to include: Akwa Ibom, Borno, Oyo, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Edo, Plateau, Abia and Nasarawa.

Others are; Delta, Niger, Gombe, Imo, Enugu, Kogi, Anambra, Niger, Ebonyi, Cross River, Ondo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa, Bauchi, Ekiti, Ogun, Benue, Yobe and Kwara.

He said the World Bank would also be funding the Livestock Productivity and Resilience project in no fewer than 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) while the China EXIM Bank is expected to finance the construction of the branch line of Apapa-TinCan Island Port, under the Lagos-Ibadan Railway modernisation project.

Shehu said: “The French Development Agency will finance two projects, which include the National Digital Identity Management project and the Kaduna Bus Rapid Transport Project.

“The digital identity project will be co- financed with World Bank and EIB.

“The Value Chain Development Programme to be financed by IFAD and implemented in Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun, Taraba, Nasarawa, Enugu and Kogi States will empower 100,000 farmers, including over 6,000 and 3,000 processors and traders, respectively.

“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 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 1 & 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,’’ he further disclosed.

Shehu revealed that the Credit Suisse would finance major industrialisation projects as well as micro, small and medium enterprises schemes to be executed by the Bank of Industry.

He said the SINOSURE and Standard Chartered Bank would also 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 higher overhead burdensome cost of running and maintaining fossil fuel generators (25MW installed capacity) to power the assembly complex,’’ he added. (NAN)

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APC PCC commends CBN, Buhari for extension of naira swap deadline

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for extending the naira notes swap deadline.

Buhari on Sunday approved a 10-day extension for Nigerians to swap their old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes for the new ones.

Emefiele announced this after a meeting with the President in his Daura country home.

The extension followed complaints by Nigerians who experienced difficulties getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from banks.

The APC PCC, in a statement by its Director, Media & Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, praised the move.

It said: “We want to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria and Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for listening to the voice of well-meaning Nigerians on the exigency of extending the deadline for change of old N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes to the new ones.

‘Following difficulties experienced by Nigerians from across the country from getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from Banks, many Nigerians especially requested an extension of the 31 January 2023 deadline.

“We welcome the 10-day extension of the deadline and the additional seven days of grace.

“This window will enable Nigerians especially those in rural and remote areas to have more time to change their old notes and avert the panic that would have followed.”

It said the President deserved “special commendation” for approving the extension “and for his leadership and statesmanship.”

The APC PCC added: “In the same vein, we praise our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his forthrightness in addressing the concerns of Nigerians at his campaign rally in Abeokuta last week.

“Asiwaju Tinubu didn’t take the easy road by shying away from what would have caused serious inconvenience for our teeming masses.

“Asiwaju showed leadership and compassion for the welfare of Nigerians, at the most appropriate time.”

 

 

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ASSBIFI commends extension of validity of old Naira notes

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The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) on Sunday in Lagos endorsed the extension of the validity of old naira notes from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10.

Its president, Mr Olusoji Oluwole, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN decision to extend the deadline was a step in the right direction.

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in a statement on Sunday said the CBN added a 10-day extension of the deadline of Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, to allow for the collection of more old notes.

He also noted that Nigerians would still have grace period to deposit their old notes directly with the CBN until Feb. 17.

“It is a step in the right direction, especially in providing more time for the return of old notes after the actual date of invalidation.

“CBN, however, needs to proactively monitor and address sufficient availability and distribution of the new notes.

“It should also increase sensitisation of, and probably incentivising the general public on the cashless policy to reduce the pressure on cash,’’ Oluwole said.

Banks have been contending with increased number of customers rushing to beat the Jan. 31 deadline given by CBN for the return of old naira notes which would cease to be legal tender.

New N200, N500 and N1,000 notes became legal tender on Dec. 15, 2022 after they were unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Nov. 23, 2022.

Many bank customers, however, complained that the new notes were not readily available and have yet to circulate adequately four days to the expiration of the old notes.

 

(NAN)

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New Naira Notes: CBN Extends Deadline Till February 10

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CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele and New Naira Notes
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the use of the old notes till February 10.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the extension in a statement signed on Sunday.

He explained that the apex bank has sought approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the deadline for the use of the old notes by 10 days.

“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following:  A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31 to February 10 to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians,” the statement read.

“A 7-day grace period, beginning from February 10 to February 17, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender Status.”

The CBN Governor also solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians in ensuring a hitch-free process for the implementation of the policy.

Before the apex bank extended the use of the naira note, many Nigerians experienced difficulty in lodging their old banknotes.

The scramble by many Nigerians to meet the initial January 31 deadline has been chaotic as many of them flood banking halls with huge cash in old notes to exchange them with new ones.

Others are seen in long queues at the few ATM points having the new naira notes in different parts of the country to have access.

The naira redesign was greeted by criticism by some Nigerians, including the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the policy was intended to scuttle his presidential ambition.

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