“Nigeria’s problem is revenue, not debt” — Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, believes Nigeria does not have a problem of debt but that of revenue despite reservations among experts over the country’s rising debt profile.
Ahmed decried what she termed ‘insensitivity’ concerning the country’s debt situation, saying what Nigeria had at the moment was a revenue problem rather than a debt challenge.
The Minister spoke at a meeting with management staff of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
She said that the Federal Government would convene a meeting with donor agencies in the country where the organisations would be given directions on areas their interventions were needed.
The Minister also stressed the need to improve revenue generation in the country.
“There is a lot of insensitivity around the level of our debt. I want to restate that our debt is not too high; what we have is a revenue problem. Our debt is still very much within a reasonable fiscal limit. In fact, among our comparative countries, we are the least in terms of borrowing.”
She noted that the Federal Government hoped to raise its revenue performance from the 55 percent that was attained in 2018 to 85 per cent in the next four years.
“If we don’t do that, we will continue to suffer significantly in our capacity to service the national budget,” she warned.
Ahmed, in the same vein, spoke of the need for the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to effectively coordinate donor agencies that were operating in the country.
She added that it was not ideal for the agencies to impose programmes, some of which were not necessarily required, on Nigeria.