President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigerians have a right to be concerned about recent borrowings by the Federal Government.
He, however, stated that the debt level of the present administration was within sustainable limits.
The President said this on Thursday while presenting the 2022 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of lawmakers at the National Assembly in Abuja.
“Some have expressed concern over our resort to borrowing to finance our fiscal gaps,” he said in a speech. “They are right to be concerned.
“However, we believe that the debt level of the Federal Government is still within sustainable limits. Borrowings are targeted at specific strategic projects and can be verified publicly.”
President Buhari explained that part of what necessitated the borrowings was the economic recession that hit the country.
President Buhari Presents N16.39trn Budget For 2022
PIA Will Boost Nigeria’s Oil Production To 4m Barrels Per Day – Petroleum Minister
“As you are aware, we have witnessed two economic recessions within the period of this administration. In both cases, we had to spend our way out of recession, which necessitated a resort to growing the public debt,” he informed the lawmakers.
“It is unlikely that our recovery from each of the two recessions would have grown as fast without the sustained government expenditure funded by debt.”
On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had announced plans by the government to finance the proposed 2022 budget deficit pegged at 6.258 trillion through fresh borrowings.
Despite criticisms, she also said the borrowing is still within healthy and sustainable limits.
As of July 2021, the nation’s total borrowing constituted 23% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).