- The federal government's aggressive borrowing is still on course despite criticisms
- The government is now seeking the approval of the Senate for concessionary external borrowing of $22.8 billion raising a few eyebrows in the country
- Some experts and have warned that the government's continued borrowing is not healthy economically for the nation
The federal government has sought the approval of the Nigerian Senate for concessionary external borrowing of $22.8 billion through the minister of finance and national planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
The minister appeared before the Senate committee on local and foreign debts on Tuesday, February 4.
She said the loan sought for was segmented into seven concessionary loans from multilateral institutions, adding that it was part of the 2016 to 2018 external borrowing plan.
According to her, it was designed to enhance the productivity of the economy via the development of roads, railway lines, electricity projects, agriculture among other sectors.
According to her, the loan will also assist in the provision of soft loan for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country and ultimately improve employment generation.
She reiterated her earlier stance that Nigeria does not have a debt problem, stressing that the nation’s revenue profile was sustainable.
In late 2019, the World Bank agreed to fund Nigeria's power sector with $3billion special loan request.
In the 8th Senate, about $6 billion was approved for President Buhari to borrow out of $29.96 billion.
Shehu Sani, one of the senators in the 8th Senate said the decision was taken “to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap.”
Despite the minister's stance, criticisms have continued to trail the excessive borrowing by the Buhari administration.
The Africa Development Bank had warned against it saying: “Nigeria spent more than 50 per cent of federally-collected revenues on debt servicing in 2019.”
The story is the same on social media as Nigerians have opposed the continuos borrowing of the present government.
Njoku Toby wrote: Why must everything that will bring development to Nigeria be tied to loan. If to breath the air in Nigeria is to paid by this government. They will borrow a loan to finance it.
Abiye Manuel wrote: A country already under the crushing burden of petrol subsidy continues along the misguided path of populist socialism with no answer as to how to pay for it.
Former presidential spokesman, Reno Omokri wrote: Buhari has already borrowed more money than all governments of the last 30 years combined. Nigeria may never recover.
Jude Ekwedike wrote: The cabal around Buhari is just fleecing Nigeria. This loan request should be denied. The man doesn't know jack!
Recall that eight months ago, the Federal Executive Council approved the financing of the Gurara Hydro Power Project II by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to the tune of $1billion.
The minister of water resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the council’s meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
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