By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Senate was, yesterday, told by the Islamic Development Bank , IDB, that Nigeria was spending 80 percent of its total revenues to service debts.
It also ranked Nigeria as one of the countries in the world using the largest percentage of its revenues for debt payment.
According to IDB, this act explains why the nation bleeds economically and this requires urgent expansion.
Disclosing this yesterday when he visited the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, Senator Shehu Sani, APC Kaduna Central, resident representative of IDB in Nigeria, Abdallah Kiliaki, said though Nigeria’s debt Gross Domestic Product, GDP, ratio was low at 17 percent, resources being used to pay the debts were enormous, going by percentages taken on a yearly basis.
This was even as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, Senator Shehu Sani, APC Kaduna Central, declared that Nigeria’s total debts owed by the states and Federal governments currently stood at $60 billion.
According to IDB’s representative, if Nigeria must save itself from getting suffocated by such huge debt servicing with limited resources, there is urgent need for Federal Government to expand the scope of its resources through diversification of the economy into other critical areas, especially agriculture, on the template of value addition from production, to processing and to export.
He said: “My visit is very crucial, because we need to look at the debt profile of a country before we give it new contractual sort of financing.”