The Senate has said that Nigeria is at liberty to continue borrowing for as long as it is within its borrowing limit.
Reported by The PUNCH, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday, stated this in defense of President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest request for fresh loans of $4.054bn and €710m ($$839m).
This was as the Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha gave a report on Wednesday that Nigeria’s total public debt stock has risen from N33.11tn as of March 31, 2021 to N35.47tn as of June 30, 2021.
This suggests an increase of N2.36tn or 7.12776 per cent increase.
But Basiru told PUNCH that there was no cause for alarm, adding that saying that there was no country that doesn’t engage in deficit financing and Nigeria is not a peculiar case.
He explained that the latest loan request by the President was an addendum to the earlier one approved by the federal parliament and that it was still within the framework of the external borrowing plan of the government.
Basiru added the President accompanied the loan request with supporting documents which contained details of what the money would be used for.
He said, “What Nigerians should be looking at is the benefit and the advantage the society would have when the loans are taken and effectively utilised.
“There is no country that does not engage in deficit financing. We are still within the approved limit guaranteed by law.
“The borrowing is for the development of the country and they are tied to specific projects.
“It is part of the borrowing plans of the government which had already been approved in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
“The latest request is not a fresh loan, but an addendum to the earlier one which we have approved and it is still within the framework of the external borrowing plan of the government
“It is important to galvanise the economy and invest in critical infrastructure that will put us in a better position to prepare our country for the future.”