The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed said that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government can not stop borrowing to finance projects.
She stated this on Tuesday while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management to defend the loan request of $22.718 billion presented to the Senate by Buhari.
Ahmed explained that there was an urgent need to fund the 2020 budget to improve infrastructural development and create jobs, hence the need to borrow.
She said: “We need to invest in roads, rails, and to be able to grow at a growth rate better than how we are growing now. The loans are strictly for infrastructure development. So that we can address the deficit that we have. We know we must comply with some criteria.”
She also dismissed fears over the loan, saying that “Nigeria does not have a debt sustainability problem but revenue challenge.
Also speaking, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, assured that every money borrowed would be judiciously used for the purpose they were gotten. Fashola stated that the government could not ignore the infrastructural development needed in Nigeria.
He said: “It is right to have this hearing because we cannot ignore the concerns of the members of the public over the debt profile of the country. As we cannot ignore the concerns about debts, so we cannot ignore the concerns and demands for the provision of life-sustaining infrastructure.
“So, everybody wants a road, everybody wants a rail project, everybody wants a port and efficient airports. They want to ensure that our ports are efficient so that business can function more effectively so that the clearing of goods can happen more quickly and cheaply.”