The Federal Government intends to collect another external loan of $247.3 million for infrastructural development in the country.
The loan package was approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja on Wednesday, April 17, bringing the country’s debt profile to N24.38 trillion.
Announcing this after the meeting, Zainab Ahmed, the Finance Minister, who stated that African Development Bank would provide $150 million, said the loan would specifically be spent on rural development projects.
According to her, $50 million from Africa Grow Together Fund would go to electrification projects and $20 million from French Development Agency would be lent to the Lagos state government while $20 million will be used for building of new roads and rehabilitatation of existing ones.
She said:“Council approved three memos for Ministry of Finance. First, it approved a $150m loan facility from AfDB and $50m loan from African Grow Together Fund to finance the Nigerian electrification project. The project is a nationwide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency.
The minister also explained that the projects were to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso “with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade among participant countries.”
The minister, who gave more details on the approvals by FEC, said, “Council approved three memos for Ministry of Finance. First, it approved a $150m loan facility from AfDB and $50m loan from African Grow Together Fund to finance the Nigerian electrification project. The project is a nationwide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency.
“The project aligns with the strategy of the Federal Government on electrification of rural communities. The project has four components: First is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development, the second is productive appliances equipment for up-grid communities, and the third is energising education while the fourth component is institutional capacity building.
“The impact of the project when fully implemented, about 500,000 people will be able to have access to electricity for about 105,000 households. The maximum power that will be generated will be 76.5 megawatts installed generating capacity part of which is 68,000 megawatts of solar.
“Eight universities will benefit from this scheme and about 20,000 small, micro, medium enterprises across different communities in the nation.
“The second approval is the North Core Dorsal Regional Transmission Project. This is a project that is part of the pipeline for the West Africa power pool priority projects. The intention is for the creation of a regional power pool in the region of West Africa. The pool project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade among participants.
“The project is in the total sum of $640m, out of which each of the four countries involved has a component. Nigeria has the smallest component in this pact, which is a total loan of $27.3 m IADE facility, a concessionary loan. This is a loan that the four countries are taking together; the other three countries have concluded theirs. So, this is one of the final stages for Nigeria to conclude its process.”