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Bagudu: People say we have over-borrowed — but states need more money

Bagudu: People say we have over-borrowed — but states need more money
October 26
10:30 2021

Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi state, says state governments need more resources to invest in infrastructural development and lift millions of poverty.

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Bagudu said this on Monday while speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja.

He said the limiting factor for sub-national government is financial resources and called for synergy between the federal and state government on accessing more resources.

“I want to see the minister of finance, budget and national planning at the world stage telling investors that Nigeria needs $1 trillion to support development,” the governor said.

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“People say we have over-borrowed, but we need more money, and we need the support urgently to invest in our capacities.

“I want to see how the ministry of finance (the minister is here) can go out there and confuse people on how to mobilise much more resources. For me, at the sub-national level, the limiting factor is resources.

“When Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, attempted to borrow from the World Bank… it was very frustrating for him to borrow small amount needed for the state on a development plan. You have to go to the federal government, assembly, all that.”

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The nation’s public debt stock stood at N35.465 trillion at the end of June 2021, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

On Nigeria’s debt profile, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, said the present government’s borrowings are backed up by law and within the ability to repay.

“There are so many comments as regards our borrowings. We can borrow at a level that we can repay. Our borrowings are guided by law,” Ahmed said.

“COVID-19 pandemic made the government borrow more than its planned, but the borrowings are backed up by law and are still within the government’s capacity to repay.

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“The investments we are making will vindicate the borrowings in the future. Citizens must engage the government and find out what the funds are spent on.”

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