N21.7tn debt: IMF not worried about Nigeria – Adeosun
Kemi Adeosun who is the minister of finance has said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not worried about Nigeria’s rising debt profile.
The minister said Nigeria was capable of paying its debt which according to the Punch is estimated at N21.7tn.
READ ALSO: Breaking: Army uncovers container full of arms
She said the debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio was still low compared to other countries.
Adeosun said: “I have said this before and I am saying it again, there is no cause for worry. Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio is 20 per cent and it is one of the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We are pursuing a very measured strategy. We are running a budget deficit; the size of that deficit is coming down now. Nigeria is not among the countries that the IMF is worried about. We do have a challenge on debt service to revenue. That is because the interest cost is quite high and that is a function of two things.
“One is the fact that most of the debts were short-term; so, we are paying interests and compounding it. We have been refinancing treasury bills and issuing bonds. We have been refinancing treasury bills in the domestic market and replacing them with longer term debts in the international market. And this is reducing our cost of borrowing.”
Adeosun asked Nigerian to panic concerning the country’s debt profile .
The minister said the government was “tying the debt to capital projects, noting that this accounted for the various infrastructure projects being implemented across the country.
She said, “Those roads and rails will be here for the next 30 years; so, you are matching long-term assets and long-term liabilities.
“So, there is no cause for alarm as far as Nigeria is concerned. We are using a well-managed and very conservative debt strategy, and we will continue to be very focused on concessional borrowing.”