- The International Monetary Fund has expressed worry over Nigeria’s capacity to repay its debts
- It also said the public debt in the Sub-Saharan region is on the rise
- The body put Nigeria’s total revenue at 6% of GDP, and stressed the need to ramp up domestic revenue mobilisation
The International Monetary Fund has stressed the need for the federal government to mobilise more revenues domestically; as it expressed concern over Nigeria’s capacity to repay its debts.
The IMF’s senior resident representative and mission chief for Nigeria, Amine Mati, expressed the sentiment on Monday, May 21, at the public presentation of the Spring 2018 Issue of the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, Punch reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that Mati said the public debt in the region is on the rise.
He stated: “The number of countries in debt distress has increased. From six countries in 2014 to eight in 2015, to 10 in 2016, and today 15 countries. These are low-income economies.
“Now, I know the question that is going to come from here is: Where is Nigeria? Nigeria is not considered a low-income economy. Nigeria’s debt stock figure, which is 20 to 23 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, is still quite low by any standard. The issue is capacity to repay the debts. So, interest payment to revenue is an issue.”
Mati stressed the need to ramp up domestic revenue mobilisation, as he put Nigeria’s total revenue at 6% of GDP. He added: “There is a lot that can be done to increase revenue very quickly.”
The Debt Management Office put Nigeria’s debt at N21.73tn, as of December 31, 2017. This figure reflected a rise from June 30, 2015, when the country’s debt stood at N12.12tn.
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that the International Monetary Fund said that the growing debt profile of the Nigerian government could be worse, and needs to be carefully managed.
In its 2017 Economic Outlook the IMF said that public debt rose above 50% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 22 sub-Saharan African countries at the end of 2016 and could rise to as high 60% in countries that had hitherto depended on oil, especially in Nigeria, Gabon and Angola.
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