Debt Service Payments Pose Greatest Risk to Nigeria’s Economy – Adesina

AfDB President - Akinwumi Adesina

The President, African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina disclosed while delivering a speech at the first national tax dialogue on Thursday that AfDB has projected a growth rate of 1.5 per cent for Nigeria in 2021, and a 2.9 per cent growth in 2022.

Akinwumi however said that debt service payments posed the greatest risk to Nigeria given shrinking oil revenues.

“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.

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“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.

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.