Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Experts warn Buhari against further plunging Nigeria into debts

Recently, Enoch Adeboye, the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s spiritual leader, raised concern about the country’s rising debt profile.

• May 3, 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

Some stakeholders in the country’s economic sector have advised President Muhammadu Buhari’sregime to take steps to halt the rising national debt stock as it is fast becoming unsustainable.

The stakeholders, in separate interviews on Tuesday, advised the regime to look inwards and devise creative means of generating revenue rather than depending on borrowings.

A financial expert, Ibrahim Aliu, advised the government to devise creative means of generating revenue, warning that any further borrowings by the country should be strictly expended on productive ventures that could grow the economy.

“The federal government should ensure that borrowings are minimal and that future borrowings are effectively expended for real economic growth,’’ he said.

Sule Adebayo, a chartered accountant, said despite the low debt-to-GDP ratio, the revenue that went into debt servicing was still on the high side.

He urged the government to take necessary steps to improve its revenue and reduce its dependence on loans.

On his part, Tope Fasua, an economist, urged the private sector to always cooperate with the government in its revenue drive rather than antagonising such initiatives.

“The private sector kicks anytime the government proposes a tax increase, no matter how insignificant. It has turned itself into an enemy of the government,” he said.

He, however, disagreed with the DMO that Nigeria had a “revenue problem” and not a debt problem while urging the government to get its expenditure priorities right.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) recently announced that the country’s total debt stock as of December 2021 stood at N39.55 trillion.

The DMO had also said that the debt stock was likely to hit N45 trillion in 2022, as the government planned to borrow an additional N6.30 trillion to finance the 2022 budget deficit.

Patience Oniha, the director-general of DMO, had explained that the overall deficit in the 2022 budget was N6.30 trillion, representing 3.46 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

A breakdown of Nigeria’s public debt stock shows that 37.82 per cent is external, while the balance of 62.18 per cent is domestic.

Recently, Enoch Adeboye, the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s spiritual leader, raised concern about the country’s rising debt profile.

In one of his sermons, Mr Adeboye complained that more than 90 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue from crude oil sales was used to pay interest accruing on debt.


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