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Nigeria Risks Paying N1.8trn Interest – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that if the National Assembly rejects a request for a loan-to-bond exchange on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s overdrafts to the government, Nigeria will have to pay an additional N1.8 trillion ($4 billion) in interest in 2023.

This he said at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja when the N21.83 trillion 2023 budget was signed into law.

After several senators raised concerns about the proposal last week, the Senate postponed making a vote on the president’s request to convert $53 billion in central bank overdrafts to the government into 40-year bonds.

According to a report by The Independent, the President stated that his administration had negotiated a rate of 9% for the bonds, down from the existing three percent margin the government was paying above the central bank’s lending rate of 16.5%.

Following an increase in the assumed oil price to $75 per barrel from $70, legislators boosted the 2023 budget by 6.4% to N21.83 trillion.

Buhari said he signed the amended appropriation bill into law having considered “the imminent transition process,” referring the nation’s general election coming up in January, “to enable its implementation to commence without delay.”

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