Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said there is nothing worrisome about Nigeria’s debt portfolio.
This is coming days after the Debt Management Office announced that Nigeria’s total public debt rose by N3.32trn in 12 months to N25.7trn as at the end of June 2019.
Speaking at a public hearing on the budget organised by the National Assembly on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Ahmed said that Nigeria not enmeshed in debt crisis as speculated by many.
According to her, the issue Nigeria is contending with could rather be termed a revenue generating problem and not a debt crisis.
“Nigeria does not have a debt crisis”, Ahmed said.
“Our total borrowing today is just under 20% of our GDP while the multilateral institutions project for an economy our size to borrow up to 50-55% of our 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.”
“There is also the need for us to ensure that we have the right legal enablers and other enablers that will enhance revenue performance.
“Nigeria as a country must mobilise significant domestic resources to be able to make necessary investment in human capital as well as in physical infrastructure.”
Ahmed said that, given the low revenue to GDP ratio currently at per cent, the country must optimise revenue generation.
Meanwhile, World Bank has approved $3 billion loan by President Muhammadu Buhari‘s government for the expansion of the transmission and distribution facilities of the power sector.