Nigeria not in debt crisis – DMO boss, Oniha


Patience Oniha
Director-General of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, has allayed fears of some observers that the country was already in a debt crisis.

She toned down the fears yesterday in a chat with newsmen on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group summit in Bali, Indonesia.
But Oniha equally admitted that the nation was not generating enough revenue to fund some critical operations.
However, the debt office boss maintained that Nigeria was still capable of servicing her debts.
This, she said, federal government was doing by shoring up the revenue base by diversifying the economy.
“Debt crisis means you are no longer able to service your debts, which is what we are talking about. We can’t stop talking about it, the figures are there.
“I agree that we are not generating as much revenue as we should, but we are not in a debt crisis as many have feared,” Ms Oniha told journalists.

She said further that, “When you compare your revenue to your Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is low and we cannot run from the fact that we need to generate more revenue.
“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 generate long-term revenue. How do you generate that?
“You have to enforce compliance, which is all about increasing the tax base and making sure that those who are paying are paying the correct amount and not just paying a small amount to escape. The option that was talked about here about raising taxes,” she added.

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