External Borrowing Will Bridge Infrastructure Deficit – DG DMO

External Borrowing Will Bridge Infrastructure Deficit – DG DMOThe Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, has explained that the position of the DMO is not contradictory to the Nigerian government’s external borrowing plan of 29.6 billion dollars.

Speaking on Channels Television, Dr. Nwankwo explained that there are major benefits of the external borrowing plan of the federal government.

He stated that the loan, if approved by the National Assembly, will bridge the infrastructure deficit in the country.

“The external borrowing programme which Mr President has placed before the National Assembly for approval covering three years is for the federation. It covers projects in all the states.

“As you know in Nigeria, there is no physical geographical location known as the federal government. So all the railways, rural water projects, education, health and road projects are in one state or the other”.

He added that Nigerians need to understand the importance of borrowing programme before the National Assembly as presented by the President, as it is for everybody.

‘No Ambiguity’

Dr Nwankwo further said that there had been an erroneous publication in the dailies regarding the DMO’s position on the loan and the office has been making efforts to correct the wrong impression.

The Debt Management Office had fixed the maximum limit for the federal government’s domestic and external borrowing at 22.08 billion dollars for the 2017 fiscal year.

Nwanwko said that this does not negate the government’s plan to borrow about 30 billion dollars since this is a medium term external borrowing plan that spread across three years – 2016 to 2018.

“So on the average you are talking of about 10 billion dollars per annum. So that is settled,” he said, insisting that there is no ambiguity in the matter.

“If you advise government to borrow a maximum of 22 billion dollars for one year and we have a medium term borrowing programme for 29.9 for three years, it has no contradiction.

“The 10 billion per annum that comes from 29.9 for three years is much below the 22 billion maximum for one year. So that should be very clear, there is no ambiguity.”

The fixing of the 22.08 debt limit is part of policy recommendations of the Debt Management Office contained in its 2016 report of the annual national debt sustainability analysis.

According to the management office, new domestic borrowing has been pegged at 5.52 billion dollars, while new external borrowing is put at 16.56 billion for 2017.

The report explains that, the present value of ‘total public debt to GDP’ ratio for 2016 for the federal government is projected at 13.5 percent with an available borrowing space of 5.89 percent of the estimated GDP of 374.95 billion dollars for 2017.

The management office also recommended that government should explore other alternative and viable sources of financing for the country’s huge infrastructure requirements.

Tax Evasion Hampering Increase In Nigeria’s GDP – Agency

Debt Management stakeholders retreat in OsunThe Debt Management Office in Nigeria has identified Tax Evasion as the major factor militating against increase in the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

At a retreat of stakeholders held in Ada in Osun State on Saturday on the implications of rebasing of Gross Domestic Product for Public Debt Management, speakers observed that Nigeria’s debt/GDP Ratio had, after rebasing, dropped from 22.84 per cent to 12.65 percent indicating that the economy has grown appreciably.

The three day Retreat was organised by the Debt Management Office for members of the House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management.

They gathered to deliberate on the importance of rebasing, its benefits and effects on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product for a better Economy.

Stakeholders observed that although the rebased GDP indicated broader classifications and economic activities, there was still the need for continued diversification of the economy away from Oil and Gas as its major Source of Revenue.

Proper Tax Administration and Collection, they all agreed, was one major way of increasing Nigeria’s GDP.

Director General, Debt Management Office, Abraham Nwankwo, stressed that focus should be on having the revenue to service debts, insisting that even though Nigeria’s debts ratio had fallen, “it does not mean that Nigeria is in a position to borrow money”.

Other Participants at the retreat stressed that as much as the government had a part to play in enhancing the economy; individuals had the major responsibility to perform their civic duty.

With this message it is hoped that every Nigerian will see the future of the Nation as a collective responsibility so the revenue profile of the government can grow in commensurate with the growing economic activities.

Aviation Ministry To Revert To Original Designs Of Abuja and Lagos Airports

Lagos AirportThe Senate Committee on Aviation has directed the Ministry of Aviation to revert to the original designs for the new terminals at the Lagos and Abuja International Airports.

The committee gave the directive at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Aviation and the Debt Management Office (DMO).

The Ministry of Aviation had altered the design of the new terminals of the airports as a result of insufficient land.

At the meeting, the Committee on Aviation also sought clarification on the $500million loan from the Chinese Exim Bank for the construction of terminals at four international airports and the $100million counterpart funding for the project.

Responding, the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Mr Abraham Nwankwo, said that the Ministry of Aviation had secured the counterpart loan of $100million and would start the repayment plan which would span seven years.

The American Transportation Safety Administration’s Attaché for Central and West Africa, Ms. Mcneir Loretta, had visited Nigeria on a three-day working visit in April.

Mcneir’s visit was a follow-up assessment to the aviation security audit that was carried out on the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja in December 2013.

Mcneir, who is based in Senegal, commenced her programme with a courtesy call on the Acting Director-General, NCAA, Mr. Benedict Adeyileka.

She also met with the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, before visiting the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Jamilla Shu’ara.