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Finance Minister: Nigeria is not broke—we’re paying our debts 

Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, says the country is not broke as claimed in some quarters.

By TechnocratMedia

Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, says the country is not broke as claimed in some quarters.

Her comments followed criticisms of the Buhari-led administration for large borrowings believed not to have impacted people’s living standards.

Ms Ahmed spoke on Thursday at the presentation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration scorecard (2015-2023).

Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria said the federal government’s debt through Ways and Means climbed from N17.5 trillion in December 2021 to N23.8 trillion in October 2022, a figure that represents an increase of N6.3 trillion in 10 months.

These borrowings are not part of the country’s total public debt stock for federal and state governments which currently stands at N42.84 trillion, according to BusinessDay.

In July, TheCable reported how the cost of servicing debt surpassed the federal government’s retained revenue by N310 billion in the first four months of 2022.

The minister disclosed this while presenting the 2022 fiscal performance report for the period, saying that the federal government’s total revenue was N1.63 trillion, while the debt service gulped N1.94 trillion.

In her presentation, she said the country needs to take urgent actions to address “revenue underperformance and expenditure efficiency at national and sub-national levels”.

However, during her presentation of Buhari’s scorecard on Thursday, the minister said the country has not in any way failed in repaying both domestic and foreign debts.

She added that the country is not opting for debt relief.

The minister noted that the country continues to disburse funds to the three tiers of government from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

Ms Ahmed said the federal government has since 2015 disbursed N5.04 trillion to state governments, disclosing that the non-oil sector drives the country’s economy more than the oil sector owing to vandalism of infrastructure.

She further said oil production is increasing, stressing that as of October 2022, it soared to 1.4 million barrels per day.

She also disclosed that N1.7 trillion was released for this year’s capital projects as of September 2022.

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