Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed Not Bothered By Nigeria's N25.7tr Debt
Zainab Ahmed. Photo credit: Guardian Nigeria

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed has said there are no worries about the country’s debt portfolio, Concise News had learned.

Ahmed noted this on Wednesday at the National Assembly hearing on the N10.33 trillion 2020 Budget.

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Nigeria has a domestic and external debt portfolio of N25.7 trillion (about $83.88 billion) as at June 30, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

But the Minister has said the foreign and domestic debts owed by Nigeria will not throw the country into crisis.

She noted that Nigeria’s debts will not cripple the implementation of projects in the West African nation.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Also, she added that “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 the necessary investment in human capital as well as in physical infrastructure.”

This is as she called on Nigerians to “support this administration in solving Nigeria’s revenue generation problem. Indeed, some reforms are tough but we have to take some actions.

“However, we will engage the public in whatever we do in support of the National Assembly including any changes in tax laws if it is necessary.

“We also will be holding town hall meetings, various stakeholders’ fora to discuss matters that will affect citizens.”