Reactions have trail Nigeria’s foreign debt increase as posted by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Immediate past President of the nation Goodluck Jonathan’s former special adviser on Maritime matters, Mr. Leke Oyewole said: “If the borrowed monies are being used to boost agriculture, and Small Medium Enterprises, sustain power to increase production, then the government is on the right track.
“Coming out of the recession, the government wants to ensure that it stabilizes the dollar to boost economic activities and create employment, then Nigerians should not panic, but if on the other hand the monies are being used to pay debt, then we are going to be in a big economic trouble.”
Mr. Ayo Akande of Scib Insurance Brokers said: “You cannot rule out borrowing by any country, even where the economy is doing extremely well. However, money being borrowed should have an impact on every citizen of the country.
“Although if borrowings continue to grow, they will have a negative impact on the economy because the debt has to be serviced and servicing will put pressure on the economy. “Also, the lender matters a lot because some organizations like the IMF could dictate devaluation of your currency when the debt grows to a particular extent.
So, if we depend on borrowed money, interest will continue to grow and if borrowings continue to grow, it will have a negative impact on the country because you have to pay back capital and interest.”
President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, who spoke on behalf of operators in the maritime sector, cautioned on the spending pattern of government. He said spending not directed at the right projects and infrastructure could lead to more economic problems. He said: “As long as the foreign deposit is not strengthened, the Naira will continue to be weak against other international currencies.
“The implication is that less Nigerians will import less cargoes and this will lead to loss of jobs for Customs brokers and freight forwarders and consequently affects Customs revenue.”
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