By Mustapha Sumaila
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, says the borrowing level for Nigeria is still at 23 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that government borrowing is sensible and responsible.
Ahmed said this while addressing newsmen on the recent rise in the country’s GDP in Abuja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently announced the GDP growth of 5.01 per cent for Q2 2021 for the country.
She explained that the government was borrowing to invest in critical infrastructure like: power, water, roads and rails required to enhance business productivity in the country.
“We are borrowing with a very close consideration to the sustainability of the borrowing. The borrowing level for Nigeria today is still 23 percent of the GDP.
“I have said it several times that the problem we have in Nigeria is that of revenue and when you look at the country that are within the peer group with Nigeria, there are some that had 50 per cent growth that are now at about 70 per cent growth.
“We are at 53 despite the escalated borrowing we had to deal with in 2020 also in 2021 to get a good grip on the economic situation that was occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic and in our case due to the crash in crude oil price.
“We are borrowing sensibly we are also borrowing to invest in critical infrastructure like power, water, roads and rails which are investments that are required to enhance business productivity in the country today.
“These businesses will grow, they will not only pay taxes, they will also employ people. If we don’t do this, we will regress even from where we are today. It is a necessary investment so we are borrowing responsibly.
“We are making sure what we are borrowing is applying to major infrastructure that will return revenue in the near future” she explained. (NAN)