Governors who are taking domestic debt need to watch it – Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Warns

Minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is apparently worried over the country’s huge domestic debt put at over N6.153 Trillion. The minister then warned governors against further excessive borrowing to ensure the economic growth of the country.

Okonjo-Iweala was speaking in Enugu while delivering a lecture entitled ‘Managing Public Finance for Agricultural and Industrial Growth’ at the 2012 South East Economic Summit. She said that the mounting domestic debt was as dangerous as the external one, adding that strategies were being put in place to reduce the country’s debt.

According to the minister, “I want to give advice to our governors here. Those who are taking domestic debt need to watch it because it is as dangerous as or even more so than the external debt… When you have domestic debt, you must service it because it is your institutions, your pension funds, your banks who owe this debt and you must have to pay it otherwise it leads to other consequences within the economy.”

This is coming against the background of heavy debts being incurred by governors by the day. For instance, the present Osun State administration in still at loggerheads with the former governor of the state, Olagunsoye Oyinlola over debts he incurred as governor of the state.