Nige­ria has no debt cri­sis, DMO says

Daily Trust - - JOBS & CAREERS - From Hamisu Muham­mad & Sun­day Michael Ogwu, Bali, In­done­sia

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

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