Contrary to her earlier statement on Tuesday that Nigeria would no longer borrow to fund 2017 budget, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday declared that the Federal Government has no option but borrow if the budget must be properly funded for effective service delivery.
Adeosun’s Tuesday declaration was during a business forum where she was quoted to have said, “We cannot borrow anymore, we just have to generate funds domestically enough to fund our budget. Mobilize revenue to fund the necessary budget increase.”
The Minister’s comments had raised enquiries on the options left for Nigerians in funding the budget after the government announced that it was planning to secure foreign loans of $2 billion from the World Bank and other global financial bodies.
However in what looks like a change of mind on her earlier position, the Minister, in a statement released on Thursday in Abuja, was quoted as saying, “We have headroom to borrow and are doing so aggressively in the short to medium term in order to address our infrastructure deficit and to stimulate growth
“At the same time, it is vital that Nigeria diversifies its revenue base and builds its revenue profile,” it said. That would “ensure that we do not continue to overly rely on debt to fund our budget spending over the long term.”