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•DMO DG, Patience Oniha

The Debt Management Office (DMO) had put Nigeria’s total loan obligations to China at $3.714 billion by the end of 2020.

According to a document obtained from the debt 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.

It has a 2.5 per cent interest rate and a grace period of seven years and a tenor of 20 years, thereby maturing in September 2037.

Of this amount, $884.27 million, representing 69.77 per cent has been disbursed while $29.82 million interest has been paid.


The series of loans started with the Nigerian-Communications-Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) $200 million facility, which was signed on January 12, 2006, with 3 per cent and a grace period of five years.

The NICOMSAT loan with a maturity date of June 29, 2018, has been fully repaid.


The country also took a $399.5 million loan in 2012 for the National Public Security Communication System Project with 2.5 per cent 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 that 2010.

With an interest rate of 2. 5 per cent and seven years grace period, it will mature on September 21, 2030.

It has 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. Only $38.46 million and $66.78 million have been paid on principal and interest, leaving an outstanding of $461.54 million.


The document 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.

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Others include $381.09 million Greater Abuja Water Supply Project; and the $183.62 million Four Airport Terminal Expansion Project Ancillary Project.

There are additional loans for the Nigerian Four Airport Expansion Project and the Nigerian ICT Infrastructure Backbone Project valued at $208.90 million; and the ICT Infrastructure Backbone Phase II Project of CRY2.300 billion.


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. (Sunday Tribune)

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