Actionaid raises concern over Nigeria’s rising debts

By Daniel Adeleye

Actionaid Nigeria has expressed concern over plans by the federal government to borrow another N4.28 trillion to finance the 2021 budget.

This is just as the body said it was disheartening to note that there has been an increase in the country’s debt profile, with a significant rise of N33 trillion before the end of 3rd quarter of 2020.

Speaking in Abuja with journalists during a zoom meeting recently, Actionaid Nigeria Manager Governance Programme, Celestine Okwudili Odo said there is nothing wrong in borrowing, but questions arose when there is practically no development commensurate with the borrowed funds, especially utilising them for recurrent expenditures.

Odo noted that apart from the country’s infrastructures that are deteriorating rapidly in addition with about 82million Nigerians who are under extreme poverty, the current insecurity spiralling across the country with multiple deaths on a daily basis, signifies failure of governance.

He emphasised that despite defence taking the greater chunk of national budgets, with N238 billion released out of the N316 billion allocated to the sector for the years 2018/2019, which represents about 75 percent of the total allocations over the period, insecurity still dominates national discourse.

According to him, “funds meant for public good are siphoned through budget allocations. The embezzlement cases are celebrated in the media, drawing public attention nationally and internationally, but unfortunately, that is the end of such ugly incidences, because investigative reports are never made public or implemented.”

He observed that the future of the next generation of the unborn and even the present generation is being mortgaged if the country continues at that trend, which also signifies that Nigeria is in a very precarious situation.

Odo tasked the government to look inwards for domestic resources mobilisation, through blocking off revenue leakages, which according to him, “Is verily possibly with simple automation of the financial system and ensuring public institutions remit generated revenues, and mustering the political will to reduce the cost of governance.”

Source: The Street Journal

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