ABUJA (The Southern African Times) – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking approval to borrow 850 billion naira ($2.36 billion) from the domestic capital markets to fund the 2020 budget, according to a request read in the upper house of parliament on Tuesday.
Buhari said the debt is needed to replace previously approved external loans, as conditions on international capital markets are “not conducive” to borrowing.
Parliament’s upper house – the Senate – had approved foreign borrowings of $22.7 billion before the coronavirus outbreak forced nations worldwide, including Nigeria, into lockdown. [nL8N2AY62T]
The shutdowns have decimated global economic growth and slashed oil consumption by roughly a third.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude producer, has already cut nearly $5 billion from its 2020 budget. The revised version uses a benchmark of $30 per barrel oil, though Brent crude was trading at just under $20 on Tuesday. [nL8N2BB8YK][O/R]
Nigeria is also seeking almost $7 billion in emergency loans from multilateral institutions including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Tuesday is the first day that lawmakers have conducted a full session since late March, when the capital Abuja went into lockdown.