Nigeria: Revenue Is Nigeria's Problem, Not Debt, Finance Minister Insists

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27 August 2019

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has said that Nigeria does not have a debt problem, but a revenue problem, despite concerns being raised over the country's rising debt profile.

Speaking at a meeting with management staff of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, she lamented over what she termed 'insensitivity' concerning the country's debt situation.

The minister 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.

"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 noted that the federal government hoped to raise its revenue performance from the 55 per cent 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.

A meeting would soon be convened, where the agencies would be summoned and issued directions on how to operate in the country, she said.

"Donor coordination rests on the shoulders of this arm of the ministry. We want to call, as early as possible, a meeting of all donors so that we will discuss with them and give them a clear direction on what and where we want their intervention."

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