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‘Nigeria’s debt profile becoming unsustainable’

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Centre for Social Justice has faulted the huge amount allocated for debt servicing in the 2017 budget, stating that such provision is an indication that the country’s debt profile is becoming unsustainable.

The Lead Director, CSJ, Mr Eze Onyekpere, stated this a document prepared by the group containing a preliminary review of the 2017 budget was passed by the National Assembly.

NASS had on Thursday approved the 2017 budget wth a total sum of N7.44trn which is N143bn higher than the estimates submitted by the President.

The budget as passed by the lawmakers has a total amount of N1.84trn allocated for debt servicing which is 24.73 per cent  of the overall budget.

Onyekpere said, “Dedicating 24.73 per cent of the overall budget to debt service is an indication that Nigeria’s debt profile is becoming unsustainable.

“The capital vote of 29.30 percent is just a little higher than debt service. With a deficit financing of N2.35trn, the debt service is about 36 per cent of our expected revenue. This shows that we may soon be back to the debt situation pre the debt relief period.

He lamented that the N1.84trn budgeted for debt servicing is higher than the total sum of N1.34trn  allocated to the ten key ministries of government.

They are agriculture N103.79bn; education N56.72bn; health N55.6bn; power, works and housing N553.7bn; transport N241.7bn; solid minerals N12.45bn; defence N139.29bn; police N63.76bn; trade and investment N81.72bn and Niger-Delta N34.2bn.

He added, “The capital allocation to ten key ministries as a percentage of debt service is 72.99 per cent while debt service is 84.49 per cent of the overall capital vote.”

 

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