Nwankwo: Nigeria's Public Debt Portfolio Now N10.5tn
IMAGE: Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, The Director General, Debt Management Office »
The Director General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, has said the country’s current public debt portfolio made up of both domestic and international borrowings stands at about N10.5 trillion compared to about N10 trillion in December 2013.
He said the debts remained sustainable and tailored to reflect challenges and aspirations of the country.
Speaking in Abuja at a seminar organised for finance correspondents on understanding the bonds market, he said total domestic debt stock stood at about N8.9 trillion while its external component is valued at about $9.38 billion.
Nwankwo said though Nigeria’s Debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio remained low at 12.51 percent after the recent rebasing, allowing for more capacity to borrow, it could not afford to borrow without adequate precaution.
He said there were concerns the country’s tax GDP ratio which remained low at about six per cent compared to 18 per cent with peer groups. He lamented that many economic agents operating within the country do not pay tax according to their output and called for change of attitude.
The DMO boss said there were serious revenue leakages characterised by low tax returns to tax authorities.
He said sustaining the current macroeconomic achievements so far recorded, there needed to be improvement in productivity and timely payment of taxes.
Specifically, he stressed the need to improve revenue generation since “you don’t service debt with GDP but with revenue”
He also disclosed that the proposed Sukuk bond offering was still a product in the pipeline and undergoing designing and evaluation, adding that it would be introduced at the appropriate time.
On state government’s renewed appetite for borrowing even at the eve of elections, the Nwankwo said all borrowings are adequately monitored to ensure they meet developmental objectives.
He said there are sufficient controls put in place to forestall abuse and mismanagement of borrowed funds.
Article Credit: Thisdaylive