CBN cautions FG over rising public debt, bemoans slow GDP growth

CBN cautions FG over rising public debt, bemoans slow GDP growth

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Tuesday, May 25, decried the country’s rising debt, describing it as worrisome.

This was raised by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

The CBN also described the latest 2021 first quarter Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) growth as fragile.

Emefiele said amid GDP growth recoveries being recorded by the global economy, the bank would be more determined to expand several of its interventionist programmes on the economy to improve and create wealth.

“It is important to note that for us at the CBN, we are not surprised at the recorded growth. We made efforts to be pro-growth and adopted variable measures that will reign inflation and manage growth output,” he said.

Emefiele said the bank adopted certain measures to mop up liquidity and increase supply in the economy.

“In the process, we reduced money supply to control inflation; mopping liquidity; while using development financing to increase interventions in real sectors; and improving lending at the concessionary rate. These are some of the steps we take and we are not surprised at the results we’re seeing.”

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Speaking further on the measures taken by the CBN to spur growth, Emefiele noted that, “When the pandemic started, we said that all the facilities we give out must be at five per cent. We also asked the banks to restructure some of the facilities to support businesses being adversely affected by the pandemic.”

Nigeria’s GDP grew by 0.51 per cent in real terms in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021; marking two consecutive quarters of growth, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Sunday showed.

The uptick in growth was driven mainly by the manufacturing sector which grew 3.40 per cent(year on year) within the period; higher than -1.51 per cent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 and 0.43 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.

On the other hand, data obtained from the Debt Management Office (DMO) reveal that Nigeria’s total debt was N32.9 trillion at the end of December 2020; while debts owed to non-Nigerian lenders was pegged at N12.7 trillion.

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