- Senate has raised the alarm over rising Nigeria's debt profile
- President Buhari requested the Senate's approval of $22.7billion foreign loan
- The National Assembly said that the country's total debt now stands at N33 trillion
Nigerian Senate has raised the alarm over the increasing rate of the country's debt profile, adding that with its approval of $22.7 billion foreign loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari, the total debt now stands at N33 trillion.
Vanguard reports that this was made known at the one-day public lecture organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies ( NILDS), on public debt in Nigeria: Trend, sustainability and management in Abuja on Monday, March 16.
Legit.ng gathered that while speaking at the event, the deputy chairman of Senate committee on local and foreign debts, Senator Muhammad Enagi Bima Enagi, said borrowing had always served as veritable financial platforms for many countries of the world in running their economies.
According to him, judicious utilization of such loans for intended projects and servicing the debts appropriately have also been problems for some countries, particularly the developing ones as Nigeria.
This is even as the director-general, Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, expressed fears that the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic might incapacitate and frustrate Nigeria from servicing its debts appropriately.
Senator Bima noted that realities on the ground in the country, in terms of required infrastructure and debt accumulations between 2006 and now, were not in any way connected.
He, however, explained that many Nigerians are worried whenever they hear that their government was seeking one loan or the other.
He said: “From a low ratio of debt to gross domestic product (GDP) of about 3.4 percent at independence, Nigeria’s total public debt as at September 30, 2019, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO), stands at about N26.2 trillion (or $85.4 billion).
“Of this amount, total domestic debts is about N18 trillion (or $58.4 Billion), which is 68.45percent of the total public debts. With the recent approval of the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan, the total debt stock would be about N33 trillion and 21% Debt/GDP ratio.
“The big question in the minds of average Nigerians aware of this fact is What did we do with the money? In other words, where did the money go? What do we have to show as a people for these huge debts accumulated over the last four decades or so?”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the new Value Added Tax (VAT) tax would not impact negatively on poor Nigerians, says the government but the reverse seems to be the case in Lagos markets.
It was reported that the increment in the Value Added Tax has led to a hike in the cost price of some goods and services in markets across the state.
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