By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has revealed that the countryâ€™s debt stock has risen to N19 trillion, accounting for 20 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Udoma who spoke in an interview with journalists at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), however, said the current debt was within a comfortable margin.
â€œEvery country borrows, the level of borrowing in Nigeria is not excessive too. Currently, our debt is about N19trn which is less than 20 per cent of GDP which is quite moderate, so, we donâ€™t have a debt problem,â€ he said.
The minister said having a debt is not a problem if only the country is able to maintain high revenue generation.
â€œWhat we have is a revenue problem. That is why we are taking steps to increase our revenue. One of the things we are doing is to the amnesty programme in order to get people who have not been paying their taxesÂ
Right now, our tax collection on GDP is very low. If we can achieve that, you will that the level of debts is low,â€ he said.
Speaking on the frequent controversies trailing the countryâ€™s budget, especially the recent face-between the Minister of Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and the House of Representatives, Udoma said his ministry had always tried to engage with the lawmakers on issues relating to budget planning and project implementation.
â€My role is to seek approval of the presidentâ€™s agenda by the National Assembly and we engaged them before we can get approval because the more percentage we can approved, the more successful it is. So, it is continuous discussion and engagement,â€ he added.