FG spent N3.27trn on debt servicing in 2020 – Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that N3.27 trillion was spent on debt servicing under the 2020 budget.

Also, Ahmed said a total sum of N1.80 trillion was released to finance capital expenditure in the budget.

The Minister made the disclosure at a virtual presentation of the approved 2021 budget on Tuesday in Abuja.

Analysts said the amount spent on debt servicing represents a significant chunk of the country’s revenue which was battered by a combination of covid-19 and OPEC+ production cuts.

Meanwhile, the federal government plans to spend N3.32 trillion, representing about 24.5 per cent of the total expenditure of the 2021 budget on debt servicing.

The minister of finance also stated that government will be making a total sum of N709.69 billion from multilateral/bi-lateral loan drawdown to add to the funds to be raised from borrowing, sale of public assets to finance the deficit in the 2021 budget.

Ahmed said the government will closely monitor conditions in both the “domestic and external bond market and if they are right”, she would go to the market.

A total of N3.19 trillion was spent for personnel cost, including pension in 2020 under the recurrent expenditure component of the budget, she added.

On the controversial issue of the government borrowing from unclaimed dividends and dormant accounts, the minister said the government expects to rake in N850 billion.

On the anticipated lockdown, Ahmed said: “We hope we will never have to lockdown the economy but if the effect becomes so large, the government will be left with no other choice than to lockdown again to save lives,” she said.

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