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Germany’s Volkswagen plans automotive hubs in Nigeria, Ghana

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German Automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigeria to turn the country into the “automotive hub” of West Africa.

The agreement was signed during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Nigeria, with Okey Enelamah, minister of industry, trade and investment, present at the signing ceremony in Abuja.

The car manufacturer also signed an MoU with Ghana to explore the development of new mobility solutions in the country.

Mahamudu Bawumia, Ghanaian vice president, witnessed the agreement signed with his country.

According to a statement by Volkswagen on Friday, the agreement will see new plants being built in both countries, thereby expanding the automobile market in the continent.

Commenting on the proposed venture, Thomas Schaefer, head of Volkswagen’s sub-Saharan region, said: “Both memorandums of understanding demonstrate one thing: the seriousness with which Volkswagen takes its commitment to Africa.

“We are well positioned. The situation on the continent has stabilized, and the economy is moving forward. The final hurdles for the development of the automotive industry there have been removed as a result. This is a great opportunity for us.”

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Volkswagen’s expansion agenda in Nigeria will include developing a training academy, in conjunction with the German government.

A plan to develop a comprehensive Volkswagen vehicle and service network in the country is also in the works, but “subject to commercial viability”.

The statement said the Nigerian government has pledged to “accelerate the passage of Nigerian automotive policies”.

“This includes the gradual transition from the importation of used cars to the manufacture and distribution of new passenger vehicles,” the compa

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Nigeria wants $2.25 billion World Bank loan

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Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Wale Edun, has revealed that the country is seeking up to $2.25 billion in World Bank loans and expects the bank’s board to approve the request in June.

The move was announced in a statement following the International Monetary Fund/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C as the country also aims to issue diaspora bonds later this year to attract much-need foreign exchange into the country.

The World Bank loans would include $1.5 billion for development policy and $750 million for program-for-results, the statement said. It also said that the bank would meet in June to decide whether to approve the plan in its entirety.

The multilateral body is yet to comment on the revelation at press time.

Nigeria one of Africa’s biggest oil producers has struggled lately mainly over industrial-scale crude oil theft, and troubles getting foreign currency, which caused its naira currency to drop to all-time lows against the U.S. dollar. It has since recovered, though.

Already, the country is on record levels of debt, high unemployment, and large amounts of money from the central bank. However, Edun has insisted that the government had cut the money it borrowed from the central bank in half.

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Ghana’s finance minister anticipates debt restructuring MoU with lenders

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Ghana’s Finance Minister has announced that the country’s two main creditors will send him a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a restructuring deal in May, signifying a major progress in the country’s debt reform.

Once the MoU is signed, it will make public the deal that was made in January to restructure $5.4 billion in loans with its official creditors, such as China and France.

The restructuring is a big step toward Ghana getting rid of its debt as it works to get out of the worst economic crisis in a generation. It should also allow the country to get more money from its $3 billion IMF program.

Mohammed Amin Adam said he was sure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank would work together at the Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. In June, the Monetary Fund’s executive board will agree to review its staff-level deal.

From 2023 to 2028, Ghana’s national debt to gross domestic product level was supposed to go down by 15%. This guess says that the number will have gone down every year for six years, ending at 69.96% in 2028.

Ghana didn’t pay back most of its foreign loans in December 2022 because it became too expensive to do so. But now it needs to work out a deal with private holders of about $13 billion in foreign bonds. It has also changed most of its domestic debt.

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