No prob­lem with for­eign bor­row­ings, but - Prof Ojowu

Weekly Trust - - News - Hamisu Muham­mad

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment should change the way and tim­ing of se­cur­ing loans for cap­i­tal spend­ing in or­der to max­i­mize the full ben­e­fits of such loans, a for­mer eco­nomic ad­viser to for­mer pres­i­dent, Oluse­gun Obasanjo, and chair­man, Daily Trust Board of Econ­o­mists, Pro­fes­sor Ode Ojowu, has said.

Speak­ing at the NDIC work­shop for finance re­porters in Kano yes­ter­day, Ojowu said in sub­se­quent bor­row­ings gov­ern­ment should en­sure that it plans as early as pos­si­ble in or­der min­i­mize the de­lay in ap­ply­ing such loans for the fis­cal year.

“If you in­tend to use a loan for 2019, for in­stance, you should start the ne­go­ti­a­tions for the loans now. By the time you are pre­par­ing for the 2019 bud­get you have an idea of how much you have for the cap­i­tal pro­ject,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, there is noth­ing wrong to bor­row if the loans are tied to spe­cific projects like the bonds and the Sukuk the gov­ern­ment is­sued re­cently.

On the eco­nomic growth tar­get, Pro­fes­sor Ojowu said gov­ern­ment should not aim at a lower tar­get but have an am­bi­tious tar­get backed by plans and good strat­egy to achieve that.

He faulted the re­duc­tion of the growth tar­get to 7per­cent by 2020 as con­tained in the new Medium Term Ex­pen­di­ture Frame­work, say­ing the econ­omy if well po­si­tioned would grow at 10 per­cent.

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