In a bid to revamp economic activities in the Lake Chad area, World Bank is willing to invest $510m, in three tranches, in the Lad Chad Basin to address insecurity, desertification, and humanitarian challenges, among others. According to Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed Shamsuna, who made the disclosure on Sunday, 20th October 2019 in Washington DC at a press briefing on the sidelines of the 2019 World Bank/IMF meetings.
Also, the initial tranche is $170m but it is going to go into three tranches.
And it is to help these four countries, Nigeria, Cameron, Niger, and Chad to solve some of the problems that we have now within that region and these include; security.
Of course, security is the business of government, but the reason we have security is the lack of economic activity.
Shamsuna was quoted saying “Part of the fund will be used to build common Infrastructure so there will be roads linking the four countries, it will also include providing support to the communities to enhance resilience and there will be livelihood support to the people in the four countries,” she disclosed.
She further informed that, the Federal Government planned to raise its $3bn World Bank loan request for the power sector to $4bn.
The loan would be used to finance transmission, distribution and offsetting pending obligations to the sector, adding that it would also help the Government to end the subsidy regime in the sector.
The Minister also revealed that, if we are able to expand the amount to $4bn, the additional $1bn is for the distribution network.
So, it will help us to exit the subsidy that is now inherent in the power sector” she said.
Also, the Government planned to issue naira denominated bonds to fund budgets. There have been proposals made to us, not just by the UK government, but by the Dutch Bank and the World Bank.
More so, when asked on the forecast by the IMF that global economic growth was projected to slow down from 3.6 percent in 2018 to 3.0 percent in 2019, the Minister responded that, Government is working to mitigate impacts on Nigerian economy.
On the border closure, the Minister informed that the borders would be opened when Nigeria’s neighbors commit to best practices.
The commitment that we had with these countries is that goods can come through their borders into Nigeria but in sealed containers where the Nigerian Customs can inspect and charge duties.
But that is not what is happening.
They allow containers to be opened and allow goods to be smuggled beyond the formal borders through illegal routes.