The Debt Management Office (DMO) has put Nigeria’s total loan obligations to China at $3.714 billion (about N1.41 trillion) at the end of 2020.
According to the debt management agency, $449.89 million has been repaid from the principal and $391.66 million as interest, with an outstanding of $3.264 billion, to the China Export/Import Bank.
The Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos – Ibadan section) loan of $1. 267 billion, which was contracted on August 18, 2017, stood out as the single largest facility from the Chinese to the country.
The country also took a $399.5 million loan in 2012 for the National Public Security Communication System Project with 2.5 percent interest. This has a grace period of seven years and 20-year tenor and will mature on September 21, 2030. The entire $399.5 million was fully drawn down and the total payment of principal as of December 2020 was $92.19 million and interest of $89.04 million, leaving a total outstanding at $307.31 million.
The Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Idu- Kaduna section) loan of $500 million was similarly contracted in 2010. With an interest rate of 2. 5 percent and seven years grace period, it will mature on September 21, 2030. It has also been fully drawn down, with an outstanding payment of $384.62 million.
The Abuja Light Rail Project loan of $500 million was contracted in 2012 with similar terms of 2.5 per cent interest rate, a grace period of seven years and a tenor of 20 years; it had been fully drawn down.
The report revealed that four facilities have not been drawn down. These four include the $325.67 million 40 Parboiled Rice Processing Plants Project; and the $157 million Nigeria Supply of Rolling Stocks and Depot Equipment for Abuja Light Rail Project.
Others include the $381.09 million Greater Abuja Water Supply Project; and the $183.62 million Four Airport Terminal Expansion Project Ancillary project, amongst others.
It should be noted that two of the projects- Security Communication and Abuja Light Rail have been in comatose even as interests and service fees were being paid.