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Nigeria is Not Broke – Minister of Finance Insists

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has said that the country is not broke and can meet its debt obligation in the short, medium and long terms.

Briefing the nation on her ministry’s scorecard in the past seven years on Thursday, December 1, in Abuja, Ahmed 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 also said that though the country is not earning enough, its revenue is improving and oil thefts are also reducing. She further revealed that NNPC now does about 1.3 million barrels per day as against about 800,000 it previously did.

Ahmed added; “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.

“What we have isn’t enough to cover what we need hence the borrowings.

“There is a debt management board chaired by the Vice President. The debt management strategies are being followed judiciously. At 33 per cent to GDP, we are still the lowest within countries that are our comparatives.

“But again, I still say we have a revenue problem in spite of the increase in non-oil revenue because our performance 8-9 per cent of GDP, the revenue is not enough. We are a population of about 200 million who deserve service.

“Our consumption level is low. So we need to keep looking ways to incentivize the business so MSMEs who are the largest contribution to labour and economy continue to grow.”

Commenting on support to developments in the states, Ahmed said; “A total of N5.03 trillion plus an additional US$3.4 billion has been released to states by the Federal Government over the life of this administration.

“The support covers the 13% Derivation Refund to Oil Producing States, refund for Construction of Federal Roads, Ecological Support, Support from the Development of Natural Resources Fund, Paris Club refunds, Support from the Stabilisation Fund, COVID-19 intervention, amongst others.”

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