Tinubu Appoints Officials Of NCC, NIGCOMSAT, Others

Akpabio Tasks Tinubu On Nigeria’s Borrowings As Debt Servicing Gulps N5.79Bn In 9 Months

8 months ago
2 mins read

With the Nigerian government exceeding its 2023 debt service budget by N869.38 billion in the first nine months of this year, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday, enjoined President Bola Tinubu to do everything within his power to reduce the nation’s high debt profile.

Akpabio, who stated this in his welcome address at the National Assembly Complex, during the occasion of the presentation of the 2024 budget by President Bola Tinubu, charged the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to reducing the high debt profile of the country.

“We also want to plead with the government to do all within its powers to reduce our high debt profile. We know that Mr President inherited this worrisome burden. But then the mark of a great leader is that he fixes the problems wherever they exist,” he said.

Going by the budget estimates, 44 per cent of the N27 trillion 2024 appropriation bill is for debt servicing. This amounts to N8.25 trillion which will be spent on paying the interest accruals to the nation’s debt stock.

In 2023, it was projected that the government would spend N6.56 trillion on debt servicing. It is expected that between January and September, the Federal Government should have spent about N4.92 trillion on servicing debts. 

However, it ended up spending N5.79 trillion in the first nine months of this year, which is higher than its debt service budget for that period. This is based on the breakdown & highlights of the 2024 executive budget proposal presentation document by the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu. 

The excess debt service spending was mainly due to domestic debt service and interest payments on borrowing from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Ways and Means Advances. 

While the Federal Government spent N5.79 trillion on debt servicing in the first nine months of 2023, it only spent N1.47 trillion on capital expenditure. This means that spending on debt is almost four times more than what was spent on infrastructural projects in the country despite the huge infrastructure deficit. 

Expressing concern over the country’s worrisome debt profile, the Senate President said that the National Assembly was aware that President Tinubu inherited the burden from the last administration led by Muhammadu Buhari, saying the mark of a great leader is that he fixes the problems wherever they exist.

He however, expressed optimism that with the spirit of unity and collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature, the challenges of the country could be overcome and usher in an era of unprecedented development through reinvigorated revenue generation and fiscal prudence.

Akpabio stressed the need to encourage the Executive Arm to unbundle some agencies for effectiveness, and merge agencies of Government job definitions or roles overlap for greater effectiveness, noting the need for the country to return to agriculture as a way of stopping the overdependence on crude oil.

He lamented that a mono-economy was adversely affecting the country as it is tantamount to putting all the nation’s eggs in one basket, describing the situation as a risk the country had taken for too long and therefore, could not continue to tempt providence.


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