Nigerian Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has announced the intention of the Federal Government to postponed its $22.7 billion external borrowing plans due to current realities in the global economic landscape.
Speaking in Abuja, at the 2020 International Conference on the Nigerian Commodities Market, organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ahmed stated that the government would not go ahead with the borrowing programme even if it secures the approval of the National Assembly.
The finance minister explained that the decision of the government to suspend the borrowing was due to the fact that market indices do not support external borrowings at the moment.
She said, “The parliament is still doing its work on the borrowing plan. One arm of the parliament has completed theirs and the other arm is still working and it is a process that is controlled by the parliament itself, so we are waiting. “However, we are not going out immediately because the market indication is not in favour of external borrowing at this time. Even if we get approvals we will defer it and watch the market and go out only when the timing is right.”
She explained that the Federal Government was not relenting on its plans to diversify the country’s economy, noting that unfolding events of the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic and the oil price war, had further reinforced the resolve to diversify the national economy. She disclosed that the current challenges in the global economy had brought to the fore the need for the country to develop a non-oil attitude to everything.