Friday, 20 January 2017

Why Nigeria must urgently borrow $30bn – Finance Minister

Image result for photos of kemi adeosun
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday said government was struggling to meet its obligations.

She, therefore, said the administration must secure loans to finance critical infrastructure projects.

Recall that President Buhari's 2016-2018 external borrowing of $29.9bn was rejected by the legislature.

But Adeosun, who spoke in Abuja at the 14th Daily Trust Dialogue, with theme: ‘Beyond recession: Towards a resilient economy’, said “Where are we today and what’s the problem? ”

“This is my requirement every month: salaries, statutory transfers every month, I need N210bn every month. Debt, not the debt that we are planning to take, but the inherited debt; I need N120bn just to service it. So, every month, I need N330bn

“Just to give you an idea of where we are today, last month’s FAAC allocation was N310bn. So, the Federal Government got about N140bn; but I must cover N330bn a month before we can do a single capital project.

“So, when we start the argument, should we borrow, should we not? The truth is that we have no choice. If you are waiting for the oil price to recover, the prognosis is that it’s not going to go back to $110 per barrel any time soon.

“To get the economy growing, we have no choice but to look for low-cost funds and put that infrastructure in place, because it is the infrastructure that will unlock the economy.

“It is the infrastructure that will allow us to, rather than importing powdered milk, have the cows in Taraba State with huge potential.”

The minister lamented that if the country had adopted the steps being taken now to reduce expenditure through efficiency in spending when oil price was $110 per barrel, Nigeria would not have slipped into recession.

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