Nigeria’s rising debt profile not extraordinary says fmr CBN Director

Nigeria's public debt profile

In the context of the nation’s public debt which stood at N26.215 trillion as at end of third quarter 2019, Mr Titus Okurounmu, a former director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said it is not unusual for an emerging  economy.

Okurounmu who stated this in Lagos on Friday maintained that the rising debt was nothing extraordinary as often times government needed to borrow due to inadequate funds.

The nation’s debt profile has risen by 2.0 per cent higher than the N25.701 trillion recorded at the end of second quarter 2019.

The figure comprised total debts of the Federal Government, 36 States and Federal Capital Territory.

However, Okurounmu said, “The government has to borrow as its revenue is on decline due to oil price in the international market.

“The 2020 budget alone has a deficit of N1 trillion and government needs to borrow to implement this.’’

For Okurounmu, the concern should be that borrowed funds be expended on infrastructure development.

“Expending borrowed funds on key infrastructure is what our citizens should be clamouring for, rather than consumables, as most of the Western countries our people often admire have been able to stimulate their economy through debt,’’ he said.

According to him, the debt will not be a challenge because “the current government is quite meticulous in handling public funds.”


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