The Mozambican government announced that it intends to assume the debt contracted with Brazil for the construction of Nacala International Airport, as the project is unable to generate sufficient resources for its repayment, Lusa reports.
“We are working with the Brazilian Government to allocate this debt to the [Mozambican] state, because of the problems the company Aeroportos de Moçambique has,” Minister of Economy and Finance Adriano Maleiane told the Assembly of the Republic in a parliamentary questions session.
Nacala International Airport, in Nampula province, northern Mozambique, does not have enough traffic to generate the income needed for the repayments, he said.
The debt for the construction of the airport was contracted by Aeroportos de Moçambique, as manager of the Mozambican airport system, with the Brazilian government’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES).
“As long as we fail to solve the Nacala International Airport problem, which has a lot to do with traffic, the state must take care of the debt,” the minister said.
Adriano Maleiane expressed optimism about the outcome: “We are in a negotiation process, and I hope that things go well, not least because Brazil is a member of the Paris Club, and we can treat the debt situation on this basis.”
The Paris Club includes the main bilateral creditors countries of the world.
The Minister of Economy and Finance said that the loan for the construction of the Nacala International Airport had already been transferred from BNDES to the Ministry of Finance of Brazil.
“What happened in Brazil is that the government decided to restructure the BNDES debt portfolio, and transferred the debt to the Ministry of Finance,” Minister Maleiane explained.
The Mozambican executive, he continued, was notified by Brasília of the decision last year.
Nacala International Airport, which was built by Brazilian contractor Odebrecht, cost US$125M (€111M) and started operating in 2014.
Conceived as a destination for international flights, the airport has operated below capacity since its opening. The financing for its construction is the subject of criminal investigations in Mozambique.
The Mozambican Minister of Economy and Finance said the country owes Brazil US$180M (€152.2M), but without specifying whether that amount includes the Nacala International Airport debt.
Source: Lusa via Club of Mozambique