President Muhammadu Buhari has justified the frequent borrowings by his administration, saying the country’s debt profile is still within a sustainable level.
He said this while presenting the 2022 budget estimate before a joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday.
He said though, Nigerians are right to be worried about the government’s borrowings and debts but argued that such borrowings were needed as they helped in bringing the country out of recession and boosting the economy.
The president said the target of his administration is to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current 8 per cent to 15 per cent by 2025.
Buhari said the 2022 budget is designed to build on the achievements recorded in previous budgets and to actualize the 2021-2025 development plan.
Two Recessions In 4 Years Affected Nigeria’s Growth
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the two recessions witnessed by the country in four years affected the growth of the economy despite the reforms introduced.
He said this while giving an overview of the 2021 budget performance before the joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday.
The President said while oil revenue target performance was below expectation, non-oil revenue rose above target by 7% in 2021.
He noted that the production shortfall of oil is the main factor that was also exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the 2022 budget of N16.39 trillion was tagged “Budget of Growth and Sustainability” which was predicated on certain parameters to reflect current realities.
Deficit financing amounting to N5.01 trillion will be through loans and other sources.
He said, although there were concerns, the country came out of the two recessions it witnessed in the last few years.
Buhari assured that Nigeria has no debt sustainability problem but a revenue challenge.
It could be recalled that the National Assembly had earlier approved the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP.
The lawmakers approved an oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel which is higher than the $40 per barrel in 2021.
They also approved an exchange rate of N410/$, daily crude oil production of 1.88mbpd, 2.23mbpd, and 2.22mbpd for 2022, 2023, and 2024 respectively.