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How government borrowed N845b to pay salaries, debts

The nation’s fiscal crisis may not have been overstated after all, as government paid about N844.88 billion in salaries and offset debt-related obligations that were due in the course of implementing the 2017 budget from borrowed funds.

The development, which is fiscally unsustainable, is also contrary to government’s pledge to deploy all borrowed funds to the development of critical infrastructure.

The Guardian analysis of the Budget Implementation Report for 2017 showed that government’s personnel and debt expenditures, which stood at about N3.5 trillion exceeded its overall revenue of about N2.65 trillion.

While several ministers of finance had justified borrowing through infrastructure investments, the current one, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said government was also trying to raise a new Eurobond, which would be used to fund capital projects. “I said earlier that this is $2.8 billion and it is mainly to finance capital projects,” she said.

The Guardian, November 13, 2018

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