Just after the Federal Executive Council voted N16.39 trillion for the 2022 appropriation, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zainab Ahmed has stated that there is no crime in borrowing more.
Despite the fact that Nigeria’s debt profile currently stands at over N32 trillion, Zainab said the Federal Government won’t slow down in borrowing, if it means executing much needed projects.
“Government has been borrowing before this administration and continues to borrow, and it is important that we borrow to provide developmental projects in the form of roads, rails, bridges, power, and water for sustainable development in this country,” said Ahmed after the FEC meeting yesterday.
Ms Ahmed further noted that “if we just depend on the revenues that we get, even though our revenues have increased,” the operational expenditure of the government, including salaries and other overheads, “is barely covered or swallowed up by the revenue.”
President Muhammadu Buhari recently sought Senate’s approval of another $4bn in order to execute ‘critical projects,’ however the Minister of Finance feels Nigerians should not worry since the Nation’s debts are lower than that of some nations.
“As of July 2021, the total borrowing is 23 per cent of GDP. When you compare our borrowing to other countries, we’re the lowest within the region, lowest compared to Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, the very lowest, and Angola,” she argued.
However, she admitted, “We do have a problem with revenue. Our revenues have been increasing. We just reported to the council that our revenues from non-oil have performed, as of July, at the rate of 111 per cent, which means outperforming the prorated budget.”