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Nigeria to probe national grid firm over $2 billion of foreign loans

Staff Writer |
Nigeria’s lower house of parliament will investigate $2 billion of foreign loans which the state-owned national electricity grid operator may have raised without official approval.

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The investigation could be a blow to efforts to improve Nigeria’s creaking power infrastructure, which is often blamed for hobbling growth in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria privatised most of its power sector in 2013 but retained control of the dilapidated monopoly grid operator, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Simon Arabo, a member of the House of Representatives, said in a motion that the TCN had borrowed $1.5 billion from the World Bank and other international lenders without securing the approval of both houses of parliament as required.

He described the grid operator’s contract processes as opaque and said they may violate procurement laws.

Arabo did not name the other lenders but said TCN is currently negotiating another loan of $500 million with the Islamic Development Bank.

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