The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma was embarrassed on Monday when a question was posed at him regarding Nigeria’s total debt profile during the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit taking place in Abuja. Zain Asher, a CNN Anchor, who was one of the moderators, asked Udoma to divulge the specific figure of Nigeria’s debt profile.
“How much is Nigeria’s total debt?” Asher asked the minister.
In response, a befuddled Udoma said: “I can’t tell you the exact figure. I will have to get back to you on that.” Asher, however, responded with a challenge, saying: “But you are the minister of budget”.
The clearly-rattled budget minister neither gave a ballpark figure nor stated that the Debt Management Office (DMO) was in charge of keeping records of the nation’s debt profile. Instead, he informed Asher that several committees were saddled with the responsibility of compiling Nigeria’s debt and as such, he could not give a precise figure. His response elicited loud murmurs from the audience.