Debt servicing, greatest risk to Nigeria’s economy – AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday said that debt service payments posed the greatest risk to Nigeria, given shrinking oil revenues.

The President, AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this while delivering a speech at the first national tax dialogue on Thursday.

He also projected a growth rate of 1.5 per cent for Nigeria in 2021, and a 2.9 per cent growth in 2022.

“We project that Nigeria’s economy is poised to recover to growth of 1.5 per cent in 2021 and 2.9 per cent in 2022, according to the African Development Bank’s soon to be released African Economic Outlook,” he said.

He noted that the economy shrunk by three per cent in 2020 on account of falling oil prices and effects of the lockdowns on economic activity.

The pandemic had impacted on budgetary balances and increased debt burdens, he said.

He said that Nigeria’s debt-to-GDP ratio would push debt service payments beyond more than 60 per cent of federally collected revenues.

“With shrinkage in oil revenues, debt service payments pose the greatest risk to Nigeria,” he said.

Adesina said that AfDB estimated that Africa faced an additional financing need of $125-154bn by the end of 2020 to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

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