Nigeria needs to borrow $100b for 10 years, says official

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To fix its infrastructural gaps, Nigeria will need an annual investment of $10 billion for the next ten years, Abraham Nwankwo, Director General of the Debt Management Office, DMO said in Abuja on Monday.

The DMO chief said this at the end of the meeting of the supervising board of the agency held today at Presidential Villa, Abuja. Nwankwo also told journalists that the country’s debt profile of N6.3 trillion domestic debt and $6.29 billion foreign debt are sustainable.

The DMO DG said Nigeria cannot close the infrastructure gap unless it continues to borrow. Nwakwo who said there is nothing wrong in borrowing and incurring debts as long as it is used to finance projects that would be beneficial to the people.

In terms of sustainability, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to debt at about 18 is favorable for countries in the same group in Nigeria, according to Nwankwo. Nigeria, he said has learnt from its past mistakes in terms of debt management.

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He also said arrangement to help states set up their own debt management office have been concluded. He added that government is also finding ways maximizing internal revenue for the purpose of funding the country’s various needs including infrastructure.

This, he said has resulted in improvement over the last two years in the revenue collections by various government agencies including the Customs and the Inland Revenue.

“Government is trying to ensure that we manage our internal revenue and also take measures to reduce waste”, Nwankwo said.
“We are learning from experience. We are conscious that we don’t get back to the former place. The meeting he said was aimed at ensuring that the country sticks to the fiscal responsibility law,” he added.

The meeting was presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo who is the chairman of the board. Other members of the board include, Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Economic Adviser in the office of the Vice President, Accountant General of the Federation, Niyi Otunla and DG DMO.