Nigeria spent $598.59m on servicing the debts owed to the World Bank and the Exim Bank of China in 2021, according to an analysis of data on actual external debt service payments from the Debt Management Office.
The country paid the World Bank a total of $390.92m, which included $384.28m to the International Development Association and $6.46m to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A total of $207.67m was paid to the Exim Bank of China, for different projects for which loans were taken.
The Federal Government had sought loan facilities from Chinese lenders to implement several infrastructural projects. In a new document titled ‘status of Chinese loans as of September 30, 2021’ published last week, the DMO disclosed that 15 projects were funded with the acquired loans These projects range from the water supply, power generation, railways, airport terminals, and communication to agricultural processing.
The document also showed that there are varying interest rates, which range from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent, and are not solely fixed on 2.5 per cent as the DMO claimed in its statement in June 2020. Most of the loans from the World Bank were also tied to a programme or an infrastructure project.
On December 14, 2020, for instance, the World Bank approved a $1.5bn loan for Nigeria, earmarked for two projects, namely the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme and the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability Programme.
The bank had on June 27, 2018, approved a loan of $775m for the Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (additional financing), Nigeria Polio Eradication Support Project (additional financing), Nigeria Electrification Project and the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability scheme.
On March 23, 2017, the bank approved a $200m credit for the implementation of the Agro-Processing, Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project, while a $150m credit was offered for Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project on April 14 the same year.
On June 7, 2016, the bank approved a $1.1bn credit as additional finance to fund the State Education Programme Investment Project, Community and Social Development Project, Nigeria Youth Employment and Social Support Project, State Health Investment Project, Third National Fadama Development Project, NG-Polio Eradication Support Project and the National Social Safety Nets Project.
In an earlier Punch report, it was disclosed that Nigeria spent $1.79bn in five years on servicing the debts owed to the World Bank and the Exim Bank of China. As of December 2021, Nigeria still owes World Bank and China $12.38bn and $3.63bn respectively.