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Buhari to sign $2bn loan deal with China –Adesina

Buhari to sign $2bn loan deal with China –Adesina

AHEAD of the next week visit of President Muham­madu Buhari planned state visit to China, it has been dis­closed that Nigeria will sign $2billion loan deal, to help finance the badly needed infrastructure

projects.

In February, financial and government sources said the loan could be up to $2 billion but officials have not provided an update since then.

Though the spokesman to the President, Femi Ad­esina, who disclosed this on Wednesday said he could not ascertain the amount until the day the amount will be signed.

According to him, both countries will also be signing some bilateral agreements to strengthen their economic relations.

Nigeria, which has been hit hard by a drop in oil pric­es, has been in talks with China’s EXIM Bank for a loan for months. A financial source said the loan would fund construction works of Chinese firms for infrastructure projects in Nigeria.

The Federal Government had said it wants to raise about $5 billion abroad to cover part of its 2016 budget deficit which could be as high as N3 trillion ($15 billion). Buhari has not signed the 2016 budget bill yet as he al­though awaits details from National Assembly which passed it last month.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, had earlier said in Beijing that Buhari would visit China from April 11-15 to sign “cooperation agreements” and attend a business forum. He gave no details.

Buhari, who was elected in March 2015 on a prom­ise to fix mismanagement and corruption, wants to turn around the economy by investing in power plants, trans­port and infrastructure.

Chinese construction firms have been upgrading Abuja airport and building several railway projects in Nigeria.

In November, Nigeria’s agriculture minister said he hoped China would help to set up 40 rice mills as Buhari wanted to expand the farming sector.

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