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‘FG can’t afford to borrow anymore,’ Finance Minister says

Adeosun said the government should instead raise the money needed by other means.

The Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said that the Federal Government cannot afford to borrow more to fund its budget given the nation’s rising debt profile.

Adeosun said the government should instead raise the money needed by other means.

According to Reuters, she questioned the planned foreign loans of $2 billion from lenders like the World Bank.

The Federal Government had planned to borrow extensively from overseas to fund a record budget aimed at helping the country spend its way out of its first recession in 25 years.

But plans to borrow the $2 billion the World Bank and the African Development Bank have been stalled for over a year as frustrations from organisations mounted at the Nigeria’s refusal to impose key fiscal reforms such as allowing its foreign exchange rate to float freely.

Adeosun, who spoke at a business forum in Abuja, suggested that the government would no longer seek such loans, or an additional $1.5 billion it had planned to raise from international debt markets.

“We cannot borrow any more, we just have to generate funds domestically enough to fund our budget and mobilise revenue to fund the necess

ary budget increase,” she said.

In May, the Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said the country had a shortfall of $7.5 billion for the 2017 budget expenditure, and added that would be addressed with $3.5 billion from the aforementioned loans and debt.

The government also planned to raise $4 billion from the local debt market, Udoma had said.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo signed the  N7.44 trillion 2017 budget in June, after numerous delays.

The plan projects a deficit of N2.21 trillion, implying a deficit equivalent to 2.18 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

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