The Director-General of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, declared on Wednesday in Abuja that: “Statistics show that relative to other countries, Nigeria’s revenue is low.
“The World Bank’s World Economic Outlook for 2020 showed that Nigeria with a revenue to GDP ratio of 6.3 per cent was ranked at 194 out of 196 countries covered,” Oniha revealed.
In her interaction with the News Agency of Nigeria, the debt management boss restated the urgency to improve and grow the revenue base of government.
“Revenue is the way to go and that is how countries develop and use borrowing to augment revenue shortfalls now and again.
“Nigeria has been running budget deficits for decades; it is about time to shift to balanced budget and even surplus budgets.”
Oniha charged government to take steps to address the recurrent issue of petroleum subsidy payment so as to further reduce borrowings.
“One issue to be addressed is the petrol subsidy which has significantly increased annual budget deficits and ultimately, increased the level of new borrowings and the public debt stock.
On the role of the DMO in the debt acquisition and management processes, she said the DMO plays advisory role only.
She said: “The DMO plays an advisory role to government in relation to public debt which covers new borrowing, debt negotiation and debt management strategy.
“The annual Debt Sustainability Analysis and the four-yearly Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy are the tools with which the DMO advises government on policy issues.