- Fashola and the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, have declared that the FG would not stop borrowing
- The ministers made the disclosure while appearing before the House of Representatives committee on Tuesday, December 10
- Ahmed said that there was an urgent need to fund the 2020 budget to improve infrastructural development
Despite criticisms over the level of borrowing incurred by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, the ministers of finance, Zainab Ahmed, the works and housing minister, Babatunde Fashola as well as the director-general, Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, have justified borrowing by the federal government.
Daily Trust reports that they argued that the government must borrow to meet the infrastructural needs of the people, stressing that such borrowing was inevitable.
Legit.ng gathered that they made the submission on Tuesday, December 10, when they appeared before the House of Representatives committee on aids, loans and debt management to defend the loan request of $22.718 billion presented to the Senate by President Buhari.
In her presentation, Ahmed said there was an urgent need to fund the 2020 budget to improve infrastructural development and create jobs hence the decision to take the loan.
She said: “We need to invest in roads, rails, and to be able to grow at a growth better than we are growing now. They are strictly for infrastructure development. So that we can address the deficit that we have. We know we must comply with some criteria."
Ahmed also allayed fears over the loan, saying that “Nigeria does not have a debt sustainability problem but revenue challenge.
On his part, Fashola said that every kobo borrowed would be judiciously used, adding that the government could not ignore the infrastructural development needs in the country.
He said: “It is right to have this hearing because we cannot ignore the concerns of the members of the public over the debt profile of the country. As we cannot ignore the concerns about debts, so we cannot ignore the concerns and demands for the provision of life-sustaining infrastructure.
“So, everybody wants a road, everybody wants a rail project, everybody wants a port and efficient airports. They want to ensure that our ports are efficient so that business can function more effectively, so that clearing of goods can happen more quickly and cheaply.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that President Buhari requested the Nigerian Senate to approve a foreign loan allegedly to the tune of $30 billion to the federal government.
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