Home Finance Govt borrowings not necessarily bad -DMO

Govt borrowings not necessarily bad -DMO

by Emmanuel Ogundele
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The Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, has said borrowings by countries to finance budget deficits and critical infrastructure is not necessarily a bad idea.

The DG disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos, while speaking during an awareness programme on security issuance organised by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

According to her, government borrowings were done by all countries across the world, mostly to finance critical infrastructure, the multiplier effects of which could not be overemphasised.

Oniha reckoned that successive Nigerian governments have had to recourse to borrowing to fund budget deficits, adding that annual budgets would be affected if funds were not raised to support

“The issue of debt has become topical in Nigeria that sometimes it almost looks as if borrowing is an offence or a crime. The first thing we must understand is that countries across the world borrow, be it poor countries, advanced countries, developed countries, emerging markets, they all borrow.

“We usually hear complaints that debt levels are rising in Nigeria. Globally, debt levels are rising – not just in Nigeria,” she remarked, stressing that the advent of COVID-19 had also made borrowing imperative for many countries, regardless of size, population, or economic growth.

“What has happened with COVID-19 is that countries needed to spend more, not only on health needs but on social needs as well, because we need to take care of the people who are losing their jobs. We need to create incentives for the private sector to continue operating in order to avoid a big recession because most countries experienced (recession).

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