Some lawmakers had questioned the plan to convert $53bn in central bank overdrafts into 40-year bonds.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari says Africa’s largest economy will have to pay 1.8 trillion naira ($4bn) extra interest this year if parliament rejects a loan-to-bond swap request on the central bank’s overdrafts to the government.
Buhari made the comments in his budget speech to parliament after signing the 2023 budget into law on Tuesday.
In December, the Senate delayed a decision on the president’s request to convert $53bn worth of central bank overdrafts to the government into 40-year bonds after some lawmakers questioned the plan.
In his speech on Tuesday, Buhari said the government currently pays a 3 percent margin above the central bank’s lending rate of 16.5 percent but his administration has negotiated a rate of 9 percent for the bonds.
Lawmakers increased the size of the 2023 budget by 6.4 percent to 21.83 trillion naira ($49bn) after they raised the assumed oil price benchmark to $75 a barrel from $70.
“Considering the imminent transition process … I decided to sign the 2023 appropriation bill into law … to enable its implementation to commence without delay,” the president said, referring to a general election coming up in February.