Nigeria’s debt service bill tops N4tr in three years
• Presidency explains $30 billion loan bid
By the end of 2017, Nigeria would have spent N4.1 trillion on debt servicing. The 2017 budget proposal has N1.7 trillion for debt servicing
The debt service provision is the third largest component of the 2017 fiscal plan, representing 23 per cent or one-fifth of the entire budget at N7.3 trillion and 33.6 per cent of estimated revenue.
In the last three years, the government had a budget of N17.9 trillion, out of which debt service provision alone took 23 per cent, more than one-fifth of the total figure, leaving N13.8 trillion for recurrent and capital expenditures.
In 2015, the country provisioned N943 billion for debt service, which rose by over 50 per cent to N1.48 trillion in 2016 and currently, a proposal of N1.7 trillion, due to take effect from January 1, 2017.
Presently, while the country has almost drawn down more the provision for 2016 budget to meet obligations, the capital expenditure votes upon which the debts were brokered are yet to get N1 trillion disbursements.
This is coming as the Presidency yesterday explained that the $30 billion loan request was to cover development projects spanning three years and not restricted to 2017 alone.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Solomon Ita-Enang, at a briefing in Abuja stated that the loan request if approved could take the country out of recession.
The Upper Legislative Chamber had rejected the loan request by the president this year.
Ita-Enag said: “Remember that this $30 billion dollar request was not what was to be spent in 2016, 2017 or 2018. It was a projection for three years therefore, the Senate has remitted it back to the president requesting further and it is still pending in the House of Representatives.’’
The Executive Director at BGL Capital Limited, Femi Ademola, noted that the problem of development in this country is not the size of the budget, but about the faithful implementation of the little.
The Lead Director at the Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, lamented that the rising debt service appears to be crowding out expenditure in critical infrastructure and human development.