The Nigerian government was working toward having a diversified revenue base to ensure that the country does not continue to overly rely on debt to fund the budget, Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun said Thursday.
According to her, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan provides for an increase in spending over a three-year period, which is reflected in the 2017 budget.
“Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio is low when compared to our contemporaries in Africa, and across most of the developed world,” the minister added.
“We have headroom to borrow and are doing so aggressively in the short to medium term in order to address our infrastructure deficit and to stimulate growth,” she said.
“To build a sustainable economy we must replace the debt that we are incurring in the short to medium term, with strong revenue sources,” Adeosun added.
“That is why the Ministry of Finance is focused on expanding our tax base, which we are doing with a range of initiatives which include the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme,” she said.
“Also, the recruitment of Community Tax Liaison Officers is to improve tax compliance in the long-term, and we are heavily focused on making government spending more productive and efficient,” the minister added.
“Nigeria cannot rely on debt indefinitely. We must be focused on a future where we can earn enough internal revenue to spend on the projects that will grow our economy,” she said.
Adesoun said for now however, increased spending, funded by debt, would act as a stimulus for growth. Enditem