Debt Management Roundtable (DMR) chairman Taiwo Oyedele has suggested that Nigeria’s unsustainable debt burden is fueled by poor revenue.
Oyedele, who was a panelist during a session on Sustainable Approaches to Public Debt Financing at the recently concluded Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 27), noted that Nigeria’s debt profile has reached unsustainable levels, with low and high revenues Expenditure or a combination of both factors.
He said, “The government and 36 state revenues do not match the budget of New York, which is a single state in the United States of America. So we need to harmonize a variety of taxes and collection agencies to ensure that revenue collection mechanisms are strengthened. “
The Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha, reiterated his claim, saying, “We can’t just talk about debt; we also need to talk about revenue.
If you borrow and invest these funds wisely, it will encourage growth and development. That is why we have issued over N1.5 trillion promissory notes approved by the National Assembly. “
While admitting that Nigeria’s debt service is high on revenue, she stressed the urgency of diversifying revenue to hedge against the country’s growing debt burden.
At the meeting where the DMR report on West Africa’s debt profile was presented, DMR Research Director Dr. Segun Omisakin also back Nigeria’s growing debt burden on high overheads and an over-reliance on oil and gas raw materials.
He advised the government to build innovation-driven digital economies in key sectors of the economy such as telecommunications, transportation and agriculture, adding that economic diversification and a refocusing on the non-oil sector are the surest avenues to inclusive growth.