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Nigeria cannot borrow anymore, says Finance Minister

By Felix Onuah on 12/07/2017

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•Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun
•Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

Nigeria must not borrow more to fund its budget and should instead raise money it needs by other means, Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said on Tuesday, while calling into question planned foreign loans of $2 billion from lenders like the World Bank.

Africa's largest economy is in its first recession in 25 years, and had planned to borrow extensively from overseas to fund a record budget aimed at helping the country spend its way out of its economic doldrums.

But plans for lenders like the World Bank and African Development Bank to loan at least $2 billion to Nigeria have been stalled for over a year as international organisations’ frustrations mounted at the country’s refusal to impose key fiscal reforms such as allowing its foreign exchange rate to float freely.

Adeosun’s comments, made while speaking at a business forum in Abuja, suggests that Nigeria will no longer seek such loans, or an additional $1.5 billion it had planned to raise from international debt markets.

“We cannot borrow anymore, we just have to generate funds domestically enough to fund our budget and mobilise revenue to fund the necessary budget increase,” she said.

In May, the Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze said of Nigeria has a shortfall of $7.5 billion for its 2017 budget expenditure, and added that would be addressed with $3.5 billion from the aforementioned loans and debt.

The government also planned to raise $4 billion from the local debt market, he said at the time.

The Presidency signed off on its record N7.44 trillion ($24.39 billion) budget for 2017 in June, after numerous delays.

The plan projects a deficit of N2.21 trillion, implying a deficit equivalent to 2.18 percent of Nigerian gross domestic product. (Reuters)

Source News Express

Posted 12/07/2017 01:26:39 AM

 

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