Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, has said that borrowing is inevitable in view of the current realities of the Nigerian economy. She said this at a town hall meeting/policy dialogue for good governance organised by the Alumni Association of the National Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in Abuja on 9 August.
She explained that the Federal Government has opted for a conservative borrowing plan to fund the critical sectors of the economy and to ensure that future generation is not saddled with the burden of debt payment.
“We have to invest in our infrastructure to allow the private sector to thrive which will create jobs and unlock the economy” said Adeosun
“We have to adopt a very conservative borrowing programme but we must borrow because for us to do rail, we need funds with other needed infrastructure we need funds.”
Figures from the May 2015 monthly report of the Central Bank of Nigeria, shows the federal government has consistently been borrowing sustain governance since the January due to a shortfall in revenues.
“We will borrow as cheaply as possible and that is why we are approaching the World Bank and Export Credit Agencies to provide concessionary loans. We are taking concessionary loans before going for commercial loans.”
“In the past, Nigeria had been borrowing to pay salaries but now we are borrowing to invest. When you borrow to invest, there is an expectation that there will be additional revenue that will service those borrowings.”
The Minister explained that the Buhari government inherited 1.2million public servants with a wage bill of N165 billion per month.
“You can’t send people away. What we can do is to build controls to make sure these people exist and are validly working to earn their wages which is why we are carrying out continuous audit which has revived our huge bills by N6billion per month.”