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Don’t Float $2.8bn Eurobond, Ezekwesili Tells FG - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Don’t Float $2.8bn Eurobond, Ezekwesili Tells FG by OrientDailyNews: 4:40pm On Oct 17, 2018
A former Vice-President (Africa) of World Bank, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, has advised the Feder­al Government to suspend its plan to raise 2.8 billion dollars in Eurobond to fund the 2018 budget.

Ezekwesili, who was a former Minister of Education, gave the advice while speaking to news­men in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that she was reacting to the statement made by the Minister of Finance, Ha­jia Zainab Ahmed, on Sunday that the government would soon float the bond.

Speaking at the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Bali, Indo­nesia, Ahmed said the country was exploring the bond option to strictly fund capital projects in the budget.

“The upcoming bonds that we are trying to raise will be within the 2018 budget framework and with approved targets.

“So, we are not going beyond what was approved in the bud­get. The budget has approved for us to borrow both locally and internationally and we have a bond issuance with the range of 2.8 billion dollars that we need to raise before the year closes out.

‘’The bond will be used to fund capital projects in the 2018 budgets,’’ she said.

The minister added that the country had more legroom for borrowings despite high debt profile, saying the total debt profile of the country was just three per cent of the GDP.

Reacting , Ezekwesili said the plan to borrow more was not good for the health of the economy.

She argued that the country currently spent 69 per cent of its revenue on servicing both local and international debts.

The former World Bank chief added that borrowing more was not a sustainable step as the country was not generating much revenue to cater for its critical development needs.

“What, in my view, the plan to float the bond portends for the economy is that the Fed­eral Government is digging in instead of digging out.

“Already, the debt service to revenue is so high. Today it is 69 per cent. 69 per cent of reve­nue is used to service our debts.

“That is not a sustainable situation. I see the government quote all the time `Debt to GDP ratio’, but that is like a blunt instrument in an environment where your GDP is not reflec­tive of your productivity.

“We measure your productivi­ty by the revenue the GDP gen­erates in the form of revenue of government that comes as a result of the GDP.

“Your debt to GDP is three per cent and you think that gives you the legroom to borrow and borrow. No, that is not your instrument.

Your instrument is your debt service tool, which is the revenue,” she said.

Ezekwesili urged the gov­ernment to avoid plunging the country to insolvency someday with borrowings, by exploring innovative ways to increase revenue.

She particularly urged the government to diversify reve­nue sources and pursue deep sector and structural reforms to reposition the economy.

The former World Bank VP urged the country to priorities its needs and deploy limited resources only in those areas with massive impact on devel­opment.

Ezekwesili, a presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), said the economy was in need of workable policies for revival, and promised to cause an eco­nomic turnaround if elected.


lalasticlala seun mynd44
Re: Don’t Float $2.8bn Eurobond, Ezekwesili Tells FG by yomi962: 4:56pm On Oct 17, 2018
Will he listen? Like yoruba will say Aja toba ma so nu ko ni gbo fare ode.(dog wey go lost no go hear hunter wistle) Does he have any idea what a bond means? Buhari is a mistake. he should hurry and resign.

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