The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, has expressed her worry over the rising level of debt in Nigeria and other African nations.
Mohammed, who was Nigeria’s Minister of Environment before her United Nations appointment, said a two-time Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, helped the nation to get out of debt, but the country is now back to worrying levels of debt.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General made this known while speaking at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the UN Working Together Conversation on Tuesday.
She said the two global organisations must have better conversation on the demands of a growing economy, seeking ways to make growth better and inclusive.
She said, “Public resources are always going to be important, and so is ODA and the private sector. But I think we still haven’t yet got quite the solution and I hope that the work that we do together will open up that space to think more on how to leverage that,” she said.
“As I was coming up from New York, some of the concerns that came up from the meeting we had in China just recently and reports that we have; the debt issues are really big, I mean, having experienced what it was for Ngozi (Okonjo-Iweala) to get debt relief.
“It took her a few years to convince people, and we are now back again in my country, with a level of debt that is worrying, but its happening all over. Africa, is that the way we want to go?
“I think we really need to sit down and have a better conversation about all the parts of a growing economy; that needs to be inclusive, it needs to succeed, because stability is needed more than ever today, across our countries and where we are working.”
According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria’s total debt profile as at June 30, 2018, had risen to N22.38 trillion.
This is against the $3 billion external debt and N1 trillion domestic debt the country was owing in 2006 after it made a final payment and its books were cleared of any Paris Club debt.
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