Federal government on Thursday revealed that the total debt profile of the country is about N17 .36 trillion which includes both domestic and foreign debt..
In the meantime, the government has concluded plans to begin to tax informal sector of the economy.
The Director General of Debt Management Office, Abraham Nwankwo who made this known during budget defence before Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt also stated that Nigeria economy is too bad to the extent of begging for debt pardon.
According to him, Nigeria’s total debt profile as at December 31, 2016 has risen to $57.39 billion, an equivalent of N17.36 trillion comprising $11.41 billion (N3.48 trillion) foreign debt and $45.98 (N13.88) trillion domestic debt.
He said the figures showed that external debt rose by 6.53 per cent in 2016 from $10.71 billion on December 31, 2015 while the domestic debt profile rose from N8.84 trillion in December 2015 to N11.06 trillion in December, 2016, representing an increase of 25.11 per cent.
He further disclosed informed the federal lawmakers that Nigeria paid $353.093 million for external debt service in 2016 as against the projected $421.893 million, which implied a shortfall of 16.31 per cent difference between the projected debt service estimate and what was actually paid.
Speaking why the Country cannot get debt pardon, Nwankwo said the economy is too strong for country to get debt relief.
According to him, even though the economy is facing a myriad of challenges, such challenges are too minute to compel the nation to ask for debt forgiveness.
He said, “Nigeria is not in a position to beg for forgiveness. We are still a strong economy.
“Although there are challenges but we have not got to the stage to ask for debt forgiveness.
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