N24.39tn debt Profile: FG assures of sustainability
The Federal government has assured that the rise in Nigeria’s debt profile from N21.73 trillion in 2017 to N24.39 trillion in 2018, is sustainable.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who disclosed this to State House Correspondents, at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, stated that government was doing everything to widen it’s sources of income.
He further said the “nation has revenue challenges, but I’m hopeful that if government’s attempts to widen tax net succeed, the situation of debt will change.
“With regards to our debts, our debts are sustainable. We do have a revenue challenge and we are focusing on that. Once the revenues come up, it will be obvious that we don’t have a debt problem at all.
“We are working on a number of initiatives to increase our revenues. We are looking at initiatives to widening the tax pays. We are looking at initiatives to increase efficiency in collections. We are looking at a single window, which will help to increase efficiency, custom collections. We are looking at many different ways to improve revenues.
“The debts are sustainable, every nation borrows. We are working on increasing our revenues.
“With regard to the budget, we are happy to see the focus of the National Assembly on the budget and we look forward to whenever it’s passed and the executive receiving it.”
Persecond News recalls that the Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, earlier revealed that Nigeria’s total public debt has climbed to N24.39 trillion as at December 31, 2018.
According to her, the new figure represented a year-on-year growth rate of about 12.25 percent, adding that the report included data on the composition of the public debt data and the breakdown of the debt between the Federal and the State government, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Oniha also stated that more progress was made towards realising the target 60 percent (domestic) and 40 percent (external) debt ratio.
Despite the rising debt stock, the DMO DG said some of the government’s major plans in 2019 includes to undertake more borrowing and access more external borrowing from concessional sources tied to specific projects.