Federal government has asserted Nigeria is not broke as the nation has over the years continued to generate revenues monthly.
The government also said that the nation has not in any way defaulted in both domestic and foreign debt repayments.
The minister of Finance and National Budget, Zainab Ahmed stated this at the Scorecard of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration series (2015-2023), yesterday in Abuja said that the country is not opting for debt relief.
Ahmed said the federal government’s total revenue was N1.63 trillion, while debt service gulped N1.94 trillion.
She stressed that measures have been put in place for the nation’s economy to survive the current global economic shocks occasioned by the war in Ukraine and rising inflation.
She said, “Nigeria isn’t broke. We continue to generate revenue on a monthly basis and these revenues are distributed at FAAC. We also disclose how much is distributed monthly to the three tiers of government.”
The minister indicated that even though the federal government was not earning enough, its revenue position was improving, adding that oil thefts were reducing.
She continued, “We have also witnessed a significant increase in non-oil revenue. Unfortunately, oil revenue has underperformed because of the criminality but recently the NNPC has reported that has been curtailed and we are beginning to see the pick-up with the production levels. This means more revenue will come to the government.
Although the Buhari administration has been criticized for copious borrowings believed to have sapped the country’s coffers dry, she said that urgent action is ongoing to address “revenue underperformance and expenditure efficiency at national and sub-national levels”.
The minister noted that the country continues to disburse funds to the three tiers of government from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
She said the federal government has since 2015 disbursed N5.04 trillion to state governments, disclosing that the non-oil sector drives the country’s economy more than the oil sector owing to vandalism of infrastructure.
Ahmed further said oil production is increasing, stressing that as at October 2022, it soared to 1.4 million barrels per day.
She also said N1.7 trillion was released for this year’s capital projects as of September 2022.
More so, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, in his analysis of Nigeria’s debt profile, said the external debt levels stand at N16.61 trillion or $40 billion.
He concluded that “Nigeria needs help to tackle this debt burden.”