Confab: Delegates want Nigeria’s debt profile monitored

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ABUJA – Some delegates at the National Conference on Tuesday called on the properly monitor and reduce Nigeria’s debt profile.
The delegates made the call when they contributed the Public Revenue and Finance report in Abuja.
They said the rate of Nigeria’s borrowing not healthy for the future of the country.
While some said the country had no reason borrow considering its wealth others said borrowing be limited to financing capital projects.
The delegate, representing Senators’ Forum, Sen. Kofoworola Akerele, emphasised the to discourage external borrowing.
Akerele said it external borrowing that led to the introduction of programmes such as structural adjustment programme.
According to her, the country is nursing its wounds till today.
“To say that we have not reach the international 40 per cent bench-mark for borrowing is not acceptable.
the report given to us, in 2005, we owned 32 billion dollars, which reduced by negotiation to 3.2 billion dollars.
“At the moment debt profile is 65 billion dollars which is double of what it was at that time. We know that most of the debts were incurred by the state governments,’’ Akerele said.
She urged the to recommend the establishment of a debt monitoring in the .
“This is to monitor and make sure that these debts that are being incurred supposedly for capital projects are actually implemented,’’ Akerele said.
Sen. Iyabo Anisulowo, representing Senators’ Forum, stressed the to discourage governments incurring debts, and called for prompt payment for awarded contracts.
“I want us to stop ballooning domestic debt. Apart this, local contractors be paid appropriately so that there would be circulation of money in the system,’’ Anisulowo said.
Hajiya Ramatu Usman, representing National Council for Women , said the country not continue to be a perpetual borrower.
According to her, we to proactively develop economy in the area of solid minerals.
“Nigeria being the largest growing economy in Africa, it should be seen lending money to other African countries otherwise the eagle will soon become a hawk.
In his contribution, Dr Edet Ekerendu, a retired Civil Servant, said if the country must borrow, it should be for the financing of capital projects to close the gap for deficits. (NAN)