Lafarge Nigerian unit to cut bank debt this year

May 16 (Reuters) – The Nigerian unit of Lafarge Cement plans to pay-off a 6 billion naira local bank debt this year to cut interest rate payments and boost profitability, its chief financial officer said on Thursday.

The local unit of the world’s biggest cement maker owes about 28.4 billion naira ($180.43 million) in total loans, of which 6 billion naira is from Nigerian banks, Fred Amobi, told an analysts’ conference call.

He said Lafarge WAPCO had a 3-year bond worth 11.6 billion naira and a loan from a Nigerian development bank of 10.8 bilion naira in addition to the bank loans.

“Our strategy is to repay the balance on our bank debt this year … the interest of 15 percent on the bank loan is outrageous,” Amobi said. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; editing by Keiron Henderson).http://www.reuters.com

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