There is nothing worrisome about Nigeria’s debt portfolio, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said on Wednesday.
She said foreign and domestic debt stock notwithstanding, Nigeria does not have a debt crisis.
Nigeria’s domestic and external debt portfolio stood at N25.7 trillion (about $83.88 billion) as at June 30, according to the country’s ‘Total Public Debt Portfolio’ obtained from Debt Management Office (DMO) website.
The DMO said the current total debt stock comprises the federal and 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The minister spoke against growing concerns from some quarters that the country was inching towards debt crisis as servicing the debts might cripple the implementation of projects.
Mrs. Ahmed, however, explained that the issue Nigeria is contending with could rather be termed a revenue generating problem and not a debt crisis.
Former Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) President Okechukwu Unegbu also urged Nigerians to stop having sleepless nights over the rising debt stock.
The minister, who spoke on Wednesday at the National Assembly hearing on the N10.33 trillion 2020 Budget, said: “We have heard repeatedly that Nigeria is inching towards a debt crisis and we have consistently said that Nigeria does not have a debt crisis. Our total borrowing rate is just under 50 per cent of our GDP, while the multilateral institutions project for a country to borrow from 50 to 55 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“What we have, is a revenue problem. Our revenue performance by half year is 58 per cent. So, we have designed this Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative early this year, which has three thematic areas”…
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Source : The Nation