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THE IMPACT OF DEBT BURDEN ON ECONOMIC GROWTH OF NIGERIA
1.1 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY
The Nigeria economy as we all know is characterized by a number of socio- economic problems. These problems include: import dependence, dependence on a single economic sector, weak industrial base, a low level of agriculture production, a weak private sector, dependence on foreign loan, regional inequalities and rural- urban migration, slow growth rate, inefficiency of public inequalities, low qualities of social services, unemployment, under-developed political structures and mechanisms; poor demographic indication of high fertility, breakdown in social order etc. an analysis of these problems showed that most of them are due to the structural characteristics of the economy. In order to solve these problems and ensure a meaningful development, efforts were made by the Federal Government of Nigeria to involve herself in debt, which has resulted to a very big burden to economic growth of Nigeria.
International Monetary Fund (2001) state that Nigeria economy like all other developing economic countries in the world is presently undergoing a major debt crisis. The major in its history since the country’s incorporation into the world wide crisis accumulation which is believed to have resulted in market deterioration in the aggregate balance of payment deficit. A wide gap between government revenue and expenditure, the collapse of social services and infrastructures, an escalating level of inflation, an acute storage of basic consumer goods, a decline in standard of living, without doubt it is strongly believed that there are link between the decline in global economy and that of Nigeria economy.
World Bank and IMF (April 2001) states that debt raised by the government either arose from internal sources (Domestic debts) or external sources (Foreign debts) for the execution of government programmes. When government actual revenue performance fall short of projected estimates, government resorts to borrowing to finance project that are of social and economic importance to the nation. Funds from internal sources includes: treasury bill certificates and government development stocks. While when funds are sources from external bodies like Paris club, London club, multilateral and private sectors, international banks, external debt is incurred.
Debt management office (2009) says that debt is the amount of fund Nigeria is owing to the outside Countries and also within the country at any given time and these debts inhibits our economic progress and revival, weakens investment and crowd out growth. As with other third world war countries, Nigeria debt crisis is part of a wide crisis accumulation.
The management of Nigeria’s debt brings about some kind of economic stabilization programmed to provide the policy framework for the servicing, refinancing and rescheduling of the country.
In the face of the country’s growing debt crisis, foreign creditors begin to insist on the articulation and implementation of austerity measure as a precondition for negotiation terms for the rescheduling, refinancing and servicing of Nigeria debt and unlocking lines of credit.
They are encouraged in this by the institutions that monitors stabilization programmes in the international of economic system, the IMF and the world bank, using the various loan at their disposal and the stick of punitive, international financer boycott to impose a particular kind of adjustment package on the developing countries. CBN (2002) and stabilization policy (October 2008).
Major factors contributed to the increase in Nigeria’s debts. This include: preponderance of borrowing from international community at a higher interest rates, dependence in revenue from crude oil, decline in oil production and the emergence to trade arrears. As developing economy characterized by low productive base, the supply of goods and services is augmented with import. With this, the Nigeria’s import bills through dropped from N9.89 trillion to N5.62 trillion from 2012 to 2013. THE SUM NEWSPAPER (APRIL 2013). The money still owed is still exorbitant, other major contributor to the increase in Nigeria’s debt were that some project tied loans were contracted without consideration for economic viability. All this caused the Nigeria’s debt to rise so high.
IMF (2003) wrote that Nigeria’s debt rose to $6.53billion in 2012, the federal government, the 36 states and the federal capital territory have borrowed a total of $860 million (N134.16billion) in the last one year from external sources, information available from the debt management office has shown that that total debt rose to $5.67billion on December 31st 2011, representing an increase of 15.19 percent.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigeria an oil rich state was very buoyant until in the late 1970,s when she took the first loan since then; there has been an incessant cases of borrowing from the international community at very high interest rate. Dependence in oil revenue, importation of goods and services and over estimation of budget led to further borrowing.
The inability of the federal government to pay large amount of money to repay both principal and interest of borrows capital have resulted in the accumulation of arrears and have attracted penalties that put unbearable burden on the economy and masses at large. The process of managing debt called for the information of social stabilization programmes, foreign countries insist on the articulation and implementation of austerity measures as a precondition for negotiating terms. For the rescheduling of refinancing and servicing of debt and unblocking lines of credit. It is believed that debt service put the government in a position where lesser attention and resources are allocated to core areas of the economy like education, health and poverty alleviation. It is also believed that debt weaken our trading position and our resources so we are unable to trade fairly. There is this notion that if we are to revive our country, we need to have respite from debt especially external debt. ASAHI NEWSPAPER JAPAN (JUNE 2005).
The project seeks to evaluate the implication on debt burden on economic growth of Nigeria. These are:
1. Debt Services and Investment.
2. Gross Domestic Product and Debt Service.
3. Debt Service Consumption Level.