FG defends $22.7bn loan, admits debt service budget high

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The Federal Government has said Nigeria cannot service its debts with the current revenue generation capacity. The government insisted that debt to Gross Domestic Products ratio is still within the threshold but admitted that the debt to revenue ratio is high.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made this known in her presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management in Abuja on Tuesday. She came to defend the request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the National Assembly to approve the Federal Government’s external borrowings of $22.718bn.

Also appearing before the committee were the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Minister of State for Transport, Gbemisola Saraki; and Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha.

Ahmed, in her presentation, explained that the borrowings were from multilateral and bilateral lenders, which are concessional, semi-concessional, long-tenured and for the purpose of financing infrastructure and other social development projects.

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