The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said the federal is extremely uncomfortable with the very fact that it exceeded the borrowing threshold within the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Ahmed, who spoke at the ongoing 27th National Economic Summit in Abuja on Monday, said the Federal Government planned to scale down borrowing in the coming years.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and therefore the minister are under attack for the country’s rising debt level, which the Debt Management Office put at N35.47tn as of June 30, 2021.
The minister said, “We tried to borrow more than planned because of the COVID-19. We are very uncomfortable at the very fact that we've borrowed at the quantum exceeding the edge that's outlined by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“But we have made sure that we have planned over the next few years that the borrowing is scaled down, and also that we are able to borrow at levels that we can actually repay the debt service obligation.
“So, our borrowing isn't just being done blindly; it's guided by laws. It is guided by a medium-term debt plan; we've a board at the Debt Management Office that's chaired by his Excellency the vice chairman .
“So, we actually plan these things. I feel discomfort from the polity that we are borrowing an excessive amount of , we are getting to leave debts that the longer term generation has got to participate in.
“I think if the conversation can move towards ‘What are they doing with the money that they are borrowing?’ We do need to build this critical infrastructure now for us to have a chance to attain the minimum seven per cent growth that his Excellency the President has set.”
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