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If we don’t borrow, we will be left behind as a country – Finance Minister

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has said Nigeria can’t stop borrowing because not doing so would stagnate the progress of the economy.

Ahmed said this on Thursday at the maiden special media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to her, there is a need for government to continue to borrow to provide basic infrastructural facilities.

She said, “If we say we will not borrow and therefore not build rails and major infrastructure until our revenue rises enough, then, we will regress as a country, we will be left behind, we won’t be able to improve our business environment and our economy will not grow.”

On the Chinese loans she said “it’s useful to look at the budget for each year; look at the revenues, look at the expenditure, if you take out the new borrowing, really, what will the size of the budget be? How much can the government spend?

“So, there will be a lot of capital projects that are affected. So, we need to look at it that borrowing is, even as you see it in the budget every year, used to support infrastructural development. Otherwise, there will be a challenge.

“Secondly, let me add. I think we’re going through a process where we need to borrow now. Let’s just say in the short to medium term, to get the economy going, while we also expect revenues to improve.” she further explained.

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