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External debt rises to $40bn

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Buhari

THE Special Advisor to the Director, Custom Union and Taxation in ECOWAS, Gbenga Falana, has decried the rising debt profile of most of the countries in the sub-region, noting that there is a need for West African countries to look inwardly and finance local projects through effective domestic resource mobilisation.

  Reacting, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr Johnson Chukwu, said that high external debt would impose a huge debt service on the economy.

  “This will impose a huge debt service on the economy, particularly at a period when we have low revenue from oil sales. If the revenue from oil sales does not improve, then the government will be struggling to meet that debt service obligation to foreign lenders,” he said.

  However, he noted that Nigeria could service its foreign debt at the current level, but a constant increase in debt without a corresponding increase in foreign currency earnings could put the country in a difficult position.

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