Lawmakers Investigate Nigeria’s 22 Trillion Naira Debt
One could wonder what exactly the lawmakers at the House of Representatives are going to investigate but there you have it, they believe the country’s debt profile is “at an alarmingly high” rate and therefore should be probed.
The lawmakers made the resolution while adopting a motion introduced by Yusuf Tajudeen from Kogi state, during plenary on Thursday.
So here is the picture: As of June 2018, figures from the Debt Management Office (DMO) show that Nigeria’s external debt – that is those borrowed from overseas such as China and Europe and World Bank - stands at 22 trillion naira.
Now, in the 8.83 trillion-naira 2019 appropriation bill just presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, 2.14 trillion naira was provided for debt servicing out of which 80% is for servicing domestic debt – that is those borrowed from within Nigeria.
Around July this year, International Monetary Fund, IMF senior resident representative for Nigeria, Amine Mati had said more than 50% of Nigeria’s revenue is used to service the country’s debt.
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The lawmakers said Nigeria’s debt profile has led to “growing economic instability, stifled growth and stunted development, as well as impacted negatively on various sectors of the economy”.
They expressed concerns that aside from the rising national debt profile, there is a “sharp increase” in sub-national borrowing in the last three years.
They added that the positive impact of Nigeria’s borrowings since 2015 is “yet to be seen” and that “unlike global practices where borrowings are tied to specific projects mutually agreed by respective organs of government, various borrowings since 2015, have not been transparent”.
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