FG’ s Request for Loan, Not A Trap – Nwankwo

The Debt Management Office (DMO) Director-General Dr. Abraham Nwankwo has said that the $29.9 billion loan request by the Federal Government is not a trap.

“The first thing to note is that this borrowing is normal. Normal in the sense that over the past 20 years, there is no year we have not borrowed; so, interpreting the proposal submitted to the National Assembly by Mr President for a three-year borrowing programme to be an indirect way of trapping the country does not seem to be logical because Nigeria has always borrowed every year.”

“Every year there is a budget and if you check the budgets many years back you will see that we have been borrowing both external and domestic; so there is nothing new about this. Let me also emphasize that since we exited from the Paris and London club debt in 2005-2006 we have always borrowed almost from all these sources we want to borrow from now,” he said.

“If the $29.9 billion external loan is secured, if we build infrastructure in the next five to seven  years before those loans mature in 15 to 30 years, Nigeria would be in a position to service her debt and turn around the economy.”

By providing infrastructure, Nwankwo noted that: “if the country is exporting five to 10 different products whether there is a shock globally or not Nigeria will be stable and we will not be crying about exchange rate reserve because we are well diversified that is the whole idea and that is what government wants to achieve.”

“We cannot as a nation fold our hands and remain where we are, we want to move forward by mobilising resources but if there is a way anybody can propose we mobilise revenue that is enough to cover the infrastructure deficit in the next five to seven years that would be fine, but the important thing is that we need to mobilize revenue from whatever appropriate source to solve the infrastructure deficit to turn around the economy, to exit recession, to make sure that ones and for all we are no more a mono cultural economy,” Nwankwo argued.

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