Professional bodies task FG on N6.5trn domestic debt

The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, APBN, has taken up the Federal Government on the need to reduce the escalating domestic debt of the nation which stands at $43.99billion (N6.5 trillion).

Speaking during the Annual General Meeting/ Awards for Professional Excellence organised by the association in Lagos yesterday, its President, Alhaji Bawa Bala Kaoje, urged the Federal Government to reduce the swelling domestic debt considerably in order to provide succour to local contractors and consultants.

Bemoaning the high local debt profile, Kaoje said the nation’s debt ratio locally stood at 88 per cent currently, while the foreign debt ratio stood at 12 per cent. He pointed out that the appropriate debt ratio is 60 per cent for domestic borrowing and 40 per cent foreign loan; urging the government to, as a matter of urgency, strike a balance in the interest of the nation.

Besides, the APBN boss also asked the Federal Government to correct the imbalance in the nation’s budgeting system where about 70 per cent of the budget is for personnel and recurrent cost while a paltry 30 per cent or less is left for capital development.

Some of the highlights of the meeting are the induction of new body into its fold and Awards for Professional Excellence on financial, environment, engineering/construction, management/ communication, health/ medical categories to Hajia Maryam Ladi Ibrahim, Mr Nweke Umezuruke, Mr. Josiah Okoronkwo, and Professor Innocent Ujah respectively.

APBN is made up of more than 28 professional bodies in Nigeria. Kaoje, the APBN boss noted that the nation is currently facing challenges and uncertainties characterised by activities of various forces with the resultant effect of socioeconomic and political tension. He, therefore, enjoined government to find solution the challenges of insecurity, unemployment, Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and epileptic power supply among others.

He also urged the federal authorities to settle the impasse between it and the Academics Staff Union of University , ASUU so that the nation’s tertiary institutions can reopen quickly to avoid production of half baked university graduates.

He added, “Today oil theft and bunkering is more than seven per cent of total production daily which is at least 150,000 barrels per day, the Federal Government must try harder to stop oil bunkering and fish out these crude oil thieves soonest.”

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