Dollar Shortage Squeezes World Bank-backed Nigeria Power Plant

A World Bank-backed power plant that provides a tenth of Nigeria’s electricity is at risk of a default on its loan payments because of a severe dollar shortage in the continent’s biggest economy, according to three people briefed on the matter, the Financial Times reported. The $900m Azura-Edo Independent Power Plant in Edo state has been unable to source dollars through the Central Bank of Nigeria, which has restricted access to the greenback in an effort to support the local naira currency, according to an industry executive and a financier briefed on the matter. “They have the funds [in naira]— they just can’t make the payment because they’re in the queue for dollars at the central bank, and there just aren’t enough,” the financier said. A senior central bank official said its recent efforts to address the shortage would help Azura avoid default. Read more