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Nigeria seeking up to $2.25 bln in World Bank loans

NIGERIA is seeking up to $2.25 billion in World Bank loans and expects the bank’s board to approve the request in June, the government said in a statement following the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C.

Nigeria also aims to issue diaspora bonds later this year to attract much-need foreign exchange into the country, Finance Minister Wale Edun said in the statement.

The World Bank loans would comprise $1.5 billion in development policy financing and $750 million in programme-for-results financing, the statement said, adding the bank would meet in June to consider final approval of the package.

The World Bank did not immediately comment on the statement.

Nigeria, typically Africa’s largest oil exporter, has faced a shortage of foreign exchange that pushed its naira currency to record lows versus the U.S. dollar this year, though it has since rebounded.

President Bola Tinubu also inherited an economy saddled with record debt, high unemployment and large central bank financing, though Edun, in an interview with Reuters last week, said the government had halved federal borrowing, from the central bank.