The Director-General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, on Thursday, said the rising debt profile of the country, which he put at $64bn (N12.6tn), would not affect the economy in a negative perspective.
He also explained that the N1.2tn domestic borrowing and foreign loans of N635.88bn proposed in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for the 2016 fiscal year were healthy for the nation development.
Nwankwo, who stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, also explained that 84 per cent of the entire debt profile was owed locally, while the balance was foreign in nature.
He said the nation needed about $25bn (N4.9tn) per annum continuously for the next 10 years in order to effectively tackle its infrastructural deficit. He nevertheless explained that debts owed local contractors were not part of the domestic debts quoted because they were within the purview of the Budget Office of the Federation and National Planning. He described them as operational debts.
Nwankwo said, “Ordinarily, if the implementation of the budget is followed in details, there is no reason why there should be local contractors’ debt because it is already in the budget.