Nigeria Addresses IMF, World Bank's Fears Over Borrowings
Buhari (image courtesy State House)

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, says the country is mindful of rising debt burden, which eats up about 25 per cent of its annual earnings.

Concise News learned that the finance minister was reacting to fears raised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank over Nigeria’s borrowings.

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Nigeria currently has an external debt stock of about 24.27 billion dollars as at December 31, 2018.

Euro bonds, loans from World Bank Group, China and Africa Development Bank Group make up over 80 per cent of the country’s debt stock.

The IMF and World Bank had asked Africa’s most populous nation to softpedal on its borrowings and build fiscal bufers against imminent global economic risks.

But Ahmed, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the side-line of the just concluded IMF/World Bank meetings, insisted that in spite of warnings by the IMF and World Bank, the country was not in any way near a debt crisis.

“The World Bank and IMF are cautioning us on the rate at which we are borrowing,” she said.

“They are also cautioning us on the need to build fiscal buffers because the global economy is going to be facing some risks and we agree with that.

“We are very mindful of the level of our borrowings. Our borrowing is very much within fiscal limits right now.

“What we are doing is to increase our revenue generating capacity to make it easier for us to meet our debt obligations and our routine as well as capital expenditure.”