Nigeria is to borrow internationally and locally to fund the deficit in the 2016 budget, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said.
Speaking to Bloomberg, the minister explained that the decision was as a result of the pressure confronting the economy as a result of plunging oil prices.
“We need to stimulate the economy because we cannot afford this downturn to be excessively prolonged,” she told Bloomberg.
“We think we have the headroom to borrow. We’re going to mix it between local and foreign debt. We’re talking to multilateral agencies already and we’re at an advanced stage. Then we’ll look at the foreign capital markets.”
She dismissed claims that part of the budget funding will come from regulatory fines on companies such as the one imposed on telecoms firm, MTN, by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).
MTN was fined N1 trillion later reduced to N780 billion by the NCC a figure experts say represents about 10 percent of the 2016 budget.
“The budget will not include income from regulatory fines, such as the $3.9 billion levied on MTN Group Ltd,” the minister claimed.
Adeosun disclosed that Nigeria expects to boost non-oil revenue by N1.6 trillion in 2016, to help make up for the shortfall in earnings from crude exports.
She said about N1 trillion would come from government agencies and ministries, which “have always been in the practise of not remitting funds generated”.