- Nigeria's minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, says the nation does not have debt problem
- Ahmed says the Nigeria's debt appears high because the country is currently facing a low revenue challenge
- According to her, the country's debt ratio to GDP is still below three percent
The minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, has said Nigeria’s debt appears high because the country is currently facing a low revenue challenge.
Ahmed, during a visit to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) headquarters on Friday, October 5 in Abuja, stressed the importance of improving revenue generation to enable Nigeria to achieve its economic objectives, NAN reports.
NAIJ.com notes that she said: “People have raised concerns about our debt profile, but we do not have a debt problem. Our debt ratio to GDP is still below three per cent, which is the threshold set by the Fiscal Reasonability Act.
“What we have is a revenue problem. We don’t have revenue to pay salaries and to meet the recurrent as well as the capital expenditure."
Ahmed said the functions of the NCS in regard to revenue generation were germane to the success of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
According to the minister, it is for this reason that the NCS is constantly being pushed to improve revenue collections.
Ahmed said government had considered raising Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Duty as well as including more items on the Excise Duty list.
She said however that government had decided to hold on to the idea until the economic condition in the country improved.
Ahmed told the comptroller general of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (retired), and his team, that government would look into the salary structure of the service as a way of sensitising the officers.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the new finance minister of Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed, reportedly raised the alarm with claim that the country was facing serious revenue challenges.
She, however, assured that the ministry would do everything possible to shore up the revenue base of the country.
Zainab Ahmed, who took over after the resignation of Kemi Adeosun, said on Monday, September 17: “We have very serious revenue challenges and it is up to us to make sure we shore up the revenue base of the country."
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