Nigeria has no debt crisis, DMO says
The Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, has refuted claim in some sections of the media suggesting that Nigeria has a debt crisis.
Oniha made the clarification while speaking with journalists on the side-line of the briefing on the regional economic outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Indonesia.
She said most people didn’t read the full title of the report by the FSDH which said “if Nigeria does not diversify its revenue then it would face a debt crisis.”
But she said generating more revenue “does not mean we should focus only on increasing production in the Niger Delta or praying for oil prices to rise; we have to Bali, generate long-term revenue.”
However, speaking on the problem of debtvulnerabilities, the Minister for Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma at the regional review briefing said: “I agree with the IMF that it is an issue that requires constant monitoring. Even though we, in Nigeria, have one of the lowest debt levels among some African peers, we realise that we need to improve our revenues to bring own our debt service to revenue ratios to more comfortable levels.
“Accordingly, we are intensifying efforts on domestic revenue mobilization and maintaining fiscal discipline. We are broadening our tax base through policy reforms such as the tax amnesty programme ‘VAIDS’. This, amongst other measures, has resulted in the number of taxpayers rising from 13 million in 2015 to over 19 million. We are also deploying technology in tax and customs’ collections to automate processes and enhance efficiencies,” Udoma said.
He further stated that the country is on track to shifting its domestic debt portfolio to longer term maturities, adding that the external debt is primarily concessional borrowing, representing 54% of the external debt as at June