Nigeria is not broke, according to Dr. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning. After presenting the sixth iteration of the PMB Scorecard: 2015 to 2023 from the perspective of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning in Abuja yesterday, the Minister was answering questions.
According to her, Nigeria continues to produce money, which is disbursed on a monthly basis by the Federation Account Allocation Committee, even though the government may not have all the funds it needs to cover the nation’s spending obligations (FAAC).
The minister remarked that, in keeping with the history of transparency, the government actually makes public how much is given each month to various levels of government.
She said that, “In my presentation, I said we have witnessed a significant increase in non-oil revenue. In fact, I can inform you that the non-oil revenue now funds the budget up to 73 percent. Yes, it is true that the oil revenue is underperforming because of criminality, but recently the NNPC reported that such acts have been curtailed and that we are beginning to see an improvement in oil output, which means there would be more revenue for the country.”
According to Mrs. Ahmed, the country borrows money to pay for some of the budget since the amount of revenue it generates is insufficient.
She stated, “Our borrowing has been prudent, sustainable, and directed by debt management strategy.” She stated that neither debt relief nor debt restructuring are priorities for Nigeria.
She said that, “Our debt is sustainable. At 33 percent to the GDP we are still the lowest compared to other countries that are comparative. We don’t have any need to restructure our debt or seek debt relief. We have our debt management strategy that is being followed closely. In our budget, we have provisions for debt service, which is taken as a first line charge. So we have not defaulted in any loan, external and local and we have projections of meeting our loans in the short to the medium term. This is a medium term plan and very frequently it is revised.”
“So we are comfortable in terms of our ability to pay our debts; we have made sure that it happens. We are not going for any debt relief or debt restructuring.”
According to the Minister, out of the N2.7 trillion planned for capital expenditures for all MDAs in 2022, the federal government has disbursed N1.7 trillion for capital expenditure as of September 2022.
No administration since the restoration of democracy in 1999, according to Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, has been able to do what the Buhari administration has. He especially referred to the bailout of 27 states that were unable to pay the wages of their employees.