News Column

Tuc Challenges FG Over U.S.$9.38 Billion Rising Debt Profile

August 25, 2014

Sylvester Enoghase



Concerned about the rising external debt profile of the country which the Debt Management Office (DMO) now puts at $9.38 billion, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has challenged the Federal Government to check its resort to foreign loans before the future of Nigeria is once again mortgaged to foreign creditors.

TUC's President Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama who yesterday at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos expressed worry that while Nigeria celebrated with fanfare the external debt exit in 2005 under the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo, by December 2010, the external debt portfolio rose to $4.78 billion, cautioned the Federal Government over the rising debt profile of the country.

He said "We caution the Federal the Federal Government to check its resort to foreign loans before the future of Nigeria is once again mortgaged to foreign creditors".

Kaigama, who emphasized that the recent statement created to the Director-General of the DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo in Abuja that the country's domestic and foreign debt is now $66 billion dollars, over N10 trillion, and that the external component being $9.38 billion, insisted that the current debt profile is very unfortunate more-so when the impact of the foreign loans are not being positively felt by the generality of the citizens.

"So, if the foreign debt regime now stands at $9.38 billion, it follows that external debt profile has risen by about $5 billion , about 100% in less than four years", he said.

"Nobody should be carried away by the argument that the country's debt stock is still less than 26% of GDP by the so-called international standard. The fact of the matter is that the country went through hell when its debt stock was about $35 billion. We should therefore be concerned that we are going back to where we were before," he warned

The TUC President faulted the claim by the Director-General of the DMO, Dr. Nwankwo that part of the loan was also used to finance roads including Abuja International Airport Road that has not been completed for years.


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Source: AllAfrica


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