The Finance Minister insists that Nigeria is not broke; this is why


zainab ahmedNigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning said the country is not bankrupt.

While speaking at the sixth edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard presentation organized by the Ministry of Information, the minister stressed that the country enjoys a good economic situation.

He added that the country has continued to regularly generate revenue that is allocated to all levels of government.

Non-oil revenue growth: Ahmed stated that Nigeria experienced a level of growth in non-oil revenues, adding that the country continued to improve oil revenues that had declined in recent years. She said:

  • “We continue to generate income on a monthly basis and this income is distributed to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). Again, in keeping with the tradition of transparency, we disclose how much is distributed to various levels of government on a monthly basis.
  • “He added that Nigeria has witnessed a significant increase in non-oil revenue as oil revenue is underperforming due to crime.
  • “Recently NNPC has reported that this has eased and we are already starting to see a pick up in production volumes, which means more revenue has started coming into the Federation.”

But the income is not enough: Despite the notable improvements, Ahmed added that revenues are still not enough to cover government expenses, hence the need to resort to loans. She did, however, point out that such loans were guided by certain strategies to ensure sustainability.

The news continues after this announcement.

  • “Our loans have been practical. They are sustainable, they are guarded by debt management strategies. There is a debt management board chaired by the Vice President, the ministers of Justice, Finance and other ministers, as well as the Debt Management Office (DMO). Debt management is being followed religiously and our debt is sustainable.” She explained.

There are no plans to restructure the debt: The minister noted that with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 33%, Nigeria’s debt remains the lowest when placed alongside countries with equal comparisons.

In that regard, he noted that there are no plans to restructure the debt, adding that Nigeria does not have to restructure because it has a debt strategy that could be closely followed.

The news continues after this announcement.

  • “We make provisions in our budgets for debt service. It is taken as a first line charge so we have not defaulted on any loan, external or local. Therefore, we are comfortable in terms of our ability to pay our debts, so we will not be seeking any debt relief or any debt restructuring.” she said.

Solving the revenue challenge: Ahmed, however, noted that the country faces revenue challenges despite rising revenues, citing the 8% GDP performance. She said:

  • “We are a population of 200 million people, and we have many demands from the government, both state and federal, to provide the service. We need to keep working to figure out how we can incentivize and improve the business environment so that small businesses can thrive. They should be the largest employer of labor and the largest contributors to GDP.”


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