From Vincent Ikuomola and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
The Federal Authorities has mentioned former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s touch upon the nation’s debt profile is mere scaremongering anchored on a false premise.
However predominant opposition Peoples Democratic Occasion (PDP) supported Atiku’s stance that the financial system is in shambles.
An announcement on Wednesday in Abuja by the get together’s spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan accused the federal government of concealing formally documented knowledge on money owed and the alarming state of the nation’s financial system.
Data and Tradition Minister Lai Mohammed, who faulted Atiku’s understanding of the financial system, mentioned whereas the Federal Authorities welcomed constructive criticism, such have to be based mostly on verifiable details relatively than conjectures and innuendos.
“There isn’t a doubt that former Vice-President Abubakar loves our nation and desires it nicely; in any other case, he wouldn’t have sustained his serial quest for the nation’s highest place. One can solely hope that his resort to the usage of such phrases as ‘precipice’, ‘foreclosures’ and ‘financial wreck’ doesn’t mirror something however finest needs for the nation at the moment,” he mentioned.
Mohammed mentioned the determine of Nigeria’s debt to income ratio of 99 per cent within the first quarter of 2020, quoted by the previous Vice-President, is just not within the Medium-Time period Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Technique Paper, the place he claimed he obtained it from.
Learn Additionally: FG faults Atiku on debt profile, figures
“We’re additionally not in a position to confirm the supply of the primary quarter figures of N943.12 billion for debt servicing and N950.56 billion for retained income, which he additionally quoted,” the minister mentioned.
He defined that the nation’s debt service provisions within the annual budgets embrace principal repayments, curiosity funds and all different relevant prices.
“Subsequently, the assertion that debt servicing doesn’t equate to debt compensation is just not solely improper but in addition ill-informed,” Mohammed mentioned.
On the previous Vice-President’s assertion that income must go up, the minister mentioned the Muhammadu Buhari administration had launched a number of measures to shore up revenues, itemizing a few of them because the passage and implementation of the Finance Act, 2019, present reforms within the Oil and Fuel trade, Tax Administration and Collections, in addition to the Strategic Income Progress initiatives.
Mohammed additionally mentioned since Nigeria’s debt service is expressly offered within the annual budgets and the debt service funds are made as and when due, the problem of collectors foreclosing on Nigeria, as “unusually predicted by the previous Vice President”, doesn’t come up.
The minister defined that opposite to the assertion credited to Atiku Abubakar that Nigeria had skilled alarming and unprecedented improve within the ratios of debt to the Gross Home Product (GDP) and debt service to income, certainly, Nigeria’s ratio of debt to the GDP is without doubt one of the lowest on the earth.
He mentioned this was at 19 per cent as at December 31, 2019, whereas authorities is presently making concerted efforts to extend income to be able to deliver down the ratio of debt service to income.
“One of many causes debt service to income is excessive is as a result of income era in Nigeria has been low, with over-dependence on the oil sector. That is corroborated by the truth that the ratio of Nigeria’s tax income to GDP is without doubt one of the lowest on the earth – at about six per cent,” Mohammed mentioned.
The minister defined that in contrast to what obtained previously – when the nation borrowed to service the crass indulgence of some fats cats – the loans being obtained by the present administration are being primarily used to finance infrastructure, akin to roads, railways, bridges and energy,.
He added that the loans are long-term in nature, which might profit current and future generations.