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Nigeria Accumulate More Debt As FG Considers Borrowing From Portugal and Turkey For Train Projects

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The Federal Government is considering requesting multi-billion dollar loans from financial institutions in China, Portugal, and Turkey to complete ongoing train projects around the country, according to Transport Minister Mu’azu Sambo, who notified the Senate of this.

On Thursday during plenary in Abuja, Sambo made this disclosure before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Land and Marine Transport, which is chaired by Senator Danjuma Goje.

He made it clear that the ministry was committed to ensuring the completion of the Nigeria Railway Modernization project.

The Minister further asserted that the railway network was progressively being expanded through annual budgetary appropriations because the federal government was having problems obtaining loan counterpart funding.

The Minister stated, “At this time, the Federal Government‘s counterpart funding in the 2022 appropriation is supporting the implementation of the Kaduna-Kano, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, and Kano-Maradi Segments of the Railway Modernization.

“The Federal Ministry of Finance should successfully negotiate loans for infrastructure development from financial institutions with Chinese, Portuguese, and Turkish ancestry.

To ensure that loan agreements are finalized and signed, “adequate budgetary provisions in the year 2023 budget and subsequent budgets must be made available to these financial institutions to demonstrate the source of funding of the balance of the advance payment and other aspects of work to be financed directly by the Federal Government.”

He also said that the Itakpe to Warri and Lagos to Kano railway projects’ Lagos-Ibadan segments were completely operational and were very well used by the general public.

According to information provided by the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria had a total debt balance of N39.55 trillion as of December 31, 2021. According to World Bank data, Nigeria has an estimated 206 million people, thus when this amount is split by that number, each individual Nigerian is owed N191,889.55.

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