The Debt Management Office (DMO) says it is determined to support the Federal Government in bridging the gap between its revenue and expenditure to achieve economic growth.
The Director General of the DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, told newsmen on Friday in Lagos that the office would focus more on loans repayment, utilisation and ensure proper implementation of Nigeria’s budget.
Oniha also assured that DMO would explore various ways to effectively manage the nation’s debts profile.
She said that the DMO, under her leadership “will focus on loan repayment and loan utilisation and ensure proper implementation of Nigeria’s budget’’.
She said that the agency also intended to set out clear debt repayment plans.
“For many years, the government had operated a deficit budget under the guise of stimulating economic growth and revenue was less than expenditure.
“DMO will support the government to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure,’’ the new DG said.
She explained that by bridging the gap between revenue and expenditure, the goals of the budget, as well as the Medium Term Expenditure (MTE), would be achieved.
As part of strategies to reverse the trend and turn around the economy, the DG said that government “is now investing more on capital projects.
“That is why government focus is on borrowing.
“We need to upscale things so as to achieve goals of government.
Since around March, she said the government has been going to the market to raise bonds in order to take the nation out of the economic recession.
According to her, since the first quarter of 2014, when oil prices started tumbling, it had yet to recover and has been hovering at 50 dollars per barrel.
She recalled that in 2015, the government submitted three different budget for the same year due to fluctuation in global oil price.
Oniha said this was so because the price of oil is basically used as the benchmark for the preparation of the budget.
She, however, noted that government still had the responsibilities to fix power, roads, education and other infrastructure with the available funds.
The DG, therefore, solicited the cooperation of the media in joining hands with the DMO so as to achieve successes in the task of turning the nation’s economy around.
The DMO was established on Oct. 4, 2000, to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt, which was hitherto being done by a myriad of establishments in an uncoordinated fashion.
The Federal Government appointed Oniha as the new DG for DMO, effective from July 1.
She succeeds Abraham Nwankwo, who retired from the service in the first week of July.
Until her appointment, Oniha served as the pioneer Head of the Efficiency Unit created by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to help government cut costs of governance, moderate overhead expenditure and generate savings from the procurement processes.
By Oluwashina Iyanda