Minister of Finance Emphasizes Shift from Borrowing in 2024 Budget Funding
Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, has underscored that relying on borrowing is not a viable option to fund the 2024 budget. Edun made this disclosure during his appearance before the joint Senate Committee tasked with scrutinizing the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, chaired by Senator Sani Musa.
Addressing the joint panel, the finance minister stressed that the optimal approach for Nigeria to finance its annual budgets is through increased investment in infrastructure. Edun highlighted the need to reduce the quantum of borrowing or deficit financing in the 2024 budget, considering the existing borrowing profile.
“In the current international and national environment, relying on borrowing is not a feasible option. The last thing we should consider is to pile on more debts,” Edun stated. He emphasized the importance of diverting efforts towards infrastructure spending, pointing out that Nigeria’s budget as a percentage of GDP is among the lowest, standing at 10%, in contrast to Ghana’s 25% and wealthier nations reaching up to 50%.
Accompanying Minister Edun to the Senate session were Zacch Adedeji, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and Patience Oniha, the Director General of the Debt Management Office. This strategic shift in budgetary focus reflects the government’s commitment to sustaining economic activities and stimulating growth through prudent financial management.