Presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has suggested the ways to go to address the cost of servicing Nigeria’s debt, which he quoted the Finance Minister to have said had surpassed the government retained revenue of N310 billion in the last quarter o this year.
According to Atiku, in a statement today, July 22, which he personally signed, “this action must be in breach of all known reasonable debt-sustainability thresholds. Second, it puts a big question mark on the capacity of the government to manage its rising debt profile without endangering macroeconomic stability.
“Indeed, I am concerned that this action is already exposing Nigeria to financial stability issues as we slip from a medium risk of debt distress to high risk of debt distress.”
He therefore, advised “to as a matter of urgency, take immediate steps to slow down the rate of debt accumulation by promoting more Public Private Partnerships in critical infrastructure funding and identifying more innovative funding options.
He wants the government to also review the current utilization of all borrowed funds and ensure that they are deployed more judiciously.
“Specifically, government must ensure that all borrowed funds are for priority infrastructure projects that would generate income, boost output, and put the economy on the path of sustainable growth.
“Review the country’s debt strategy by focusing on concessional and semi-concessional sources with lower interest rates and relatively long-term maturity. The government must reduce the issuance of short-dated debt instruments;
“And take steps to improve its spending efficiency and drastically cut unnecessary and wasteful expenditures.”