April 4, 2019 / 3:15 PM / 5 months ago

Nigerian debt office expects approval of 1.649 trln naira in borrowing

Nigerian naira notes are seen in this picture illustration, file. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/Illustration/File Photo

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s debt office said on Thursday it expects the government to approve total borrowing of 1.649 trillion naira ($5.39 billion) in 2019.

Half the debt, 824 billion naira, will be foreign borrowing, Patience Oniha, the director general of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, told reporters in the capital Abuja.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has been racking up debt in an effort to boost economic growth, which has been sluggish since exiting recession in 2017.

The aim of the borrowing is to create jobs and build infrastructure, according to a debt office presentation on Thursday.

Domestic debt will be made up of federal government, sukuk, green and savings bonds, the debt office said.

Nigeria’s parliament must approve the borrowing plan before it can go ahead.

($1 = 306.0000 naira)

Reporting by Camillus Eboh in Abuja; additional reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos; writing by Paul Carsten; editing by Gareth Jones, Larry King

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