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Nigeria Cannot Stop Borrowing – Finance Minister Reveals (Read Full Details)

During this COVID-19 period, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the minister of Budget and Planning has pointed out two key factors that have made it impossible for Nigeria to stop borrowing from external bodies.

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Making this revelation via a webinar organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Fiscal Policy Roundtable and Tax Investment and Competitiveness Policy Commission on Saturday, she stated the reasons as both the reality of COVID-19 pandemic and the drop in the price of oil in the international market.

She also noted that before the global health and economic challenges, Nigeria had been grappling with low revenue, noting that the crises had put the country in a difficult situation, which had made it difficult for the government to meet some of its obligations.

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The minister, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, Mrs Sarah Alade, further emphasized that over 21 million jobs could also be affected by the impact of the global pandemic.

She said,

“We’ve had to grapple with low revenue, even before the pandemic. We had high debt, weak infrastructure base, low human capital and low revenue that is largely dependent on the foreign exchange earned from oil. So, there are many things we have loved to do that we cannot do.

“Due to the global economic slowdown and the revenue issues, what we are expecting is a GDP that would contract, in the best case scenario, by about 4.4 per cent and in the worst case scenario, it could be about eight per cent or more.

“We are in a very difficult situation but we are trying to manage that because if nothing is done, up to about 21 million jobs could also be affected by the impact of the pandemic. So, with all these statistics, we cannot overemphasise the importance of raising revenue.”

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