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Ngige explains why Nigerian govt is borrowing so much



The Federal Government, on Friday, blamed its penchant for borrowings on oil theft.

This might not be unconnected to the recent advice given to the Nigerian government by the Debt Management Office (DMO) as regards massive borrowing.

The DMO Director-General, Patience Oniha, at a workshop for Senators and House of Representatives on Thursday, said revenue growth should be accelerated and loans obtained should be invested in revenue-generating infrastructure to service debt.

Oniha revealed that Nigeria’s total debt stock was N35.46 trillion (86.57 billion dollars) at the end of Q2 2021, but closed the same period this year with N42.84 trillion ($103.31 billion), according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

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She also revealed the country’s debt to China stood at $3.6 billion, accounting for 3.6 per cent of the country’s external debt and advised the Federal Government to prioritize revenue generation other than increase borrowing.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who spoke at the 8th meeting of the National Employment Council in Abuja, said oil theft forced Buhari-led adminstration to resort to borrowing.

Nigeria has been unable to meet up with the OPEC product quota as a result of unprecedented theft in the oil sector.

This development, according to Ngige, has continued to hamper the efforts of the federal government towards providing necessary social services to the country’s teeming youthful population.

He said: “Now, we cannot even produce the 1.8 million barrels. We are hovering around 1.1 million barrels per day, and they told us that some people are stealing our crude oil.

“This is a very serious matter because it has made us become very mendicant. We are now a mendicant nation, resorting to begging for survival”, he added.

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