The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) has advised the Federal Government on the need to exercise restraint on the accumulation of debt; ever since these loans began to wreak havoc on the country’s economy.
Making the plea in his speech at the association’s annual general meeting held in Lagos on Tuesday, its president, surveyor Akinloye Oyegbola, argued that while borrowing could be desirable, especially if it was used to finance infrastructure; he noted, however, that it would not be in the best interest of the country for much of the nation’s resources to be used to repay such debts, as is currently the case.
He denounced a situation in which the country spent a sum of 1.02 trillion naira on domestic and external debt service in the first quarter of 2021, leaving little or nothing for capital spending.
“Recent data shows Nigeria’s external debt is approaching $ 45 billion. The Council has decided that if the loans are for infrastructure, they will repay themselves. We urge caution, however, as data has also shown that the country spends a huge portion of its annual budget on debt servicing.
“The Nigerian government spent 1.02 trillion naira on domestic and foreign debt service in the first quarter of 2021, which is a 35.7% increase year-on-year to 753.7 billion naira spent during the corresponding period of 2020 “, he added. .
While congratulating the federal government on the gradual recovery of the national economy, as evidenced by the fall in the inflation rate to 17.01% in August 2021, the association nonetheless called on the federal government to propose effective policies that would save the value of the national currency, the naira, from further decline.
“We are concerned about the free fall of the naira, against the dollar, in recent times. Although we are aware that the government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is doing its best to stabilize the naira, we still view the state of the naira as of concern today, ”he said. -he adds.
Surveyor Oyegbola also tasked the federal government and sub-nationals to quickly resolve ongoing controversies over the VAT issue, warning that if allowed to linger it could lead to a crisis, which would further depress the economy of the country.
He also took the opportunity to appeal to the national and subnational governments of the country, on the need to avail the services of the nation’s professionals, noting that despite such appeals in the past, governments had failed sufficiently used the native professionals.
“The Council will therefore like to take this opportunity to call on members of the government to start turning in on themselves. For example, APBN boasts of a range of skilled professionals who can rub shoulders with their peers all over the world, and we are ready for national assignments, ”Oyegbola said.
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