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Despite trillions generated by Customs, FIRS, others, Nigerian govt to borrow N1.6tn to fund 2019 budget



DMO: Domestic debt servicing increased by over N247bn in 2017

Nigerian Government has revealed plans to borrow N1.6 trillion to finance its 2019 budget.

The Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha disclosed this in Lagos on Thursday at the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria’s semi-annual business lunch.

She said although the government had been reducing its level of new borrowings from N2.2tn in 2017 to N1.6tn in 2018 yet the government needed to look for ways to fund the budget.

This is coming after different government agencies generated revenues in billions of naira.

For example, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) generated a total sum of N15.6 billion between 2017 and 2018 while the Nigerian Customs Service said its revenue for 2018 stood at N1.1 trillion.

Also, the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) reportedly generated N12.6 trillion between 2016 and 2018.

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A breakdown of the amount showed that N3.3 trillion was generated in 2016, N4.02 trillion in 2017 and N5.32 trillion was realised in 2018.

But the government has insisted on borrowing N1.6 trillion which, according to DMO, would spread by ratio 50:50 between international and local borrowings.

Oniha said the belief that the government was crowding out the private sector from the debt market was untrue.

She said, “There are issues around getting sub-nationals and corporates to come to the market.

“Corporates prefer to borrow from banks because it is faster and has lower risk than the debt market. In order for us to get these people to come to the market, we have to go back to the drawing board and plan how to tackle these issues.”

Capital market experts, at the event, called for the support of capital market stakeholders and the Federal Government to support exchanges in attracting sub-nationals and corporate to the debt market.

By Babatunde Alao…

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