The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that Nigeria is not broke.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television, the former governor of Lagos state insisted that being indebted and being able to service your debt in conventional finance is not being broke.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had last week announced that urgent attention was needed in respect to the nation’s revenue challenge and expenditure efficiency.
Reacting to the state of the nation’s finances while fielding questions during an interview on Channels TV, the minister said that the business of lending money is actually a profitable one and the nation was helping out banks and other financial institutions who had employees on their payroll.
He, however, stated that he is not the minister of Finance and his job is to spend the money earned.
His words: “To the best of my knowledge, Nigeria is not broke. Being indebted and being able to service your debt in conventional finance is not being broke.
“In any event you have to understand that the business of lending itself is a profitable business. So if nobody contracted debts where will all the banks and other financial institutions be? Where will they throw all the people they employ?
“So this is a matter of credit rating and credit reputation. It is this home economics mentality that I cannot take debts that led us to take 12billion dollars cash to go and payoff a debt we could have rescheduled, renegotiated when our infrastructure was dying. That mentality must leave our table.
“All the big nations we want to compete with are contracting debts to build their infrastructure and stand in competition. As long as you can service your debts, you are good.
“I can conveniently tell you that I am not Nigeria’s minister of Finance; my job is to spend the money not to earn it.
“I am concerned and every responsible Nigerian should have his eyes on the debts and should be concerned.”