Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Federal Government will not make progress unless it borrows more to fund critical infrastructure projects in the country.
She said this on Thursday when she spoke at the maiden edition of the weekly special ministerial media briefing, organised by the Presidential Communications Team.
She said though the country had expanded its borrowing, it was still below 25 per cent debt-to-GDP ratio and within borrowing limit.
On borrowing, she said:
“There is a lot of sensitivity in Nigeria about the level of borrowing by the government and it is not misplaced. And I said earlier that the level of borrowing is not unreasonable, it is not high.”
“The problem we have is that of revenue. So, what we need to do is to increase revenue to be able to enhance our debt to GDP obligation capacity. If we say we will not borrow and therefore not build rails and major infrastructure until our revenue rises enough, then, we will regress as a country. We will be left behind, we won’t be able to improve our business environment and our economy will not grow. So, it is a decision that every government has to take.”
On Nigeria’s exist from the recession, she said:
“This is one of the shortest lived recessions we have witnessed in the country, despite the impact of the COVID-19, but I must say that the result of this exit is as a result of the fiscal policies, the monetary policies and the Economic Sustainability Plan that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been implementing.”
“46 sectors of the economy, 17 recorded positive growth and this is higher than the number of sectors that had recorded positive growth in the third quarter.”
“The Agricultural Sector posted a strong growth of 3.42% during the last quarter and when you compare to the previous quarter, it’s a much better performance.”
“Overall, the non-oil sector grew by 1.69%. This is an indication that the diversification efforts that the economy has been pushing is actually also posting results; while the oil sector is declining, the non-oil sector is growing.”
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