Nigeria not broke, says Fashola

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THE Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has averred that Africa’s most populous country is not broke.

Fashola made the assertion yesterday when he appeared on Channels Televison’s Sunday Politics to speak on the state of the nation under the ruling All Progressive Congress APC-led administration.

His comment comes just days after Minister for Finance Zainab Ahmed revealed that the nation was facing a disastrous economic crisis as its debt servicing exceeded retained revenue by as much as N310 billion in the first four months of 2022.

According to Ahmed, the federal government’s total revenue for the period was N1.63 trillion, while debt service gulped N1.94 trillion.

This is the first time the country’s debt service to revenue ratio would hit or exceed 100 per cent.

Interjecting Seun Okinbaloye, the Channels Anchor when he remarked; “We are in a debt crisis at the moment,” Fashola retorted: “Seun, I think you need to understand (sic) with the clip that I saw about the Minister of Finance, she didn’t say that we were in a debt crisis.

“She was talking about the challenges of financing fuel subsidy, and if it was the same thing that I saw recently, in the public conversation when they were presenting a medium-term expenditure framework or something, (sic) the challenges of financing our budget with the maintenance of subsidy. This Nigeria was in a debt crisis (sic), she didn’t say that so don’t import words that I don’t recall hearing.”

Seun pressed on “I ask the question again whether Nigeria is broke” to which Fashola now responded, “I have told you that to the best of my knowledge, Nigeria is not broke being in debt and being able to service your debt in conventional finance is not being broke.”