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‘Nigeria’s Rising Debt Profile Worrisome’, Says Former CBN Deputy Governor

Guardian, Nigeria: Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor in-charge of Financial System Stability, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has described the nation’s rising debt burden as worrisome.

He said that history shows that reliance on foreign loans has failed to contribute to the economic growth and development of Nigeria.

Moghalu, who spoke in an interview with journalists in Lagos yesterday, advocated for a more efficient, effective and innovative fiscal management of Nigeria’s needs, arguing that federal and state governments should generate revenue internally.

He noted that in recent years, the national debt had risen to over N19 trillion, with two-thirds of Nigeria’s tax revenue presently applied to servicing debt yearly.

He said: “The Federal Government recently requested the approval of $5.5 billion foreign loan from the National Assembly, but when you consider that, more than 60 per cent of revenues earned in Nigeria already goes into debt servicing, the country is clearly moving into dangerous territory.

“Nigerian governments consistently claim to be focused on a lot of physical infrastructure, but they fail to deliver excellently in terms of the quality of such projects. The percentage of Nigeria’s spending on development is one of the lowest in Africa. But that does not mean we have to increase taxes. We can stimulate the economy and build infrastructure by improving tax collection. All of these can be achieved when there’s good leadership and citizen accountability,” Moghalu said.

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