ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria has not decided yet how much it wants to borrow from the World Bank, its budget minister said on Wednesday, to help pay for record spending of $24 billion this year.
Diplomats and officials told Reuters last week the oil producer plans to present the required economic reform proposals to the World Bank this month to borrow at least $1 billion.
“The figure will depend on the (2017) budget approved by the National Assembly,” Udoma Udo Udoma, minister for budget and national planning, told reporters when asked about the application.
“We are waiting for the passage of the budget by the National Assembly so that we will know the budget gap or the actual deficit before we can go to the World Bank for loan.”
Nigeria, which relies on oil revenue for most of its income, is struggling to drag itself out of its first recession for 25 years. It needs to plug a gap in its record 7.3 trillion naira 2017 budget aimed at stimulating the economy.
It had planned to apply for a World Bank loan last year but the process ground to a halt because it failed to submit its economic recovery plans by the end of December as initially promised, sources told Reuters last month.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been holding back the second, $400 million, tranche of a $1 billion loan because it is also awaiting a reform plan from the government.
Nigeria will present its economic proposals to the AfDB at the same time as the World Bank, government officials said last week.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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