The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, believes Nigeria’s debt profile is not too much of a worry as is widely believed.
Nigeria’s total public debt currently stands at N24 trillion, according to a report by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in March.
This is double the debt profile that President Muhammadu Buhari met when he was sworn in for the first term in 2015, leading critics to express concern.
However, while speaking with the management staff of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on Monday, August 26, Ahmed said the debt is not as much of a worry as the nation’s capacity to generate revenue.
“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, amongst our comparative countries, we are the least in terms of borrowing,” she said.
The minister disclosed that the Federal Government aims to raise its revenue performance from 55% in 2018 to 85% over the next four years.
The minister was sworn in last week by President Buhari after she was reappointed to the ministry for his second term administration, and she said she expects the ministry to deliver on the government’s directives.
“There will be consequences, not just on the ministers but on the permanent secretaries and the directors,” she said.