The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has launched the Debt Management Roundtable (DMR). This will help Nigeria and other West African Countries create a pathway to fiscal sustainability.
Speaking at launch, Laoye Jaiyeola, chief executive officer (CEO), NESG, said the Debt Management Roundtable was established to help provide alternatives and recommendations the government can apply to ensure that Nigeria’s debt is properly managed.
“Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio has increased over the years, and Nigeria’s ability to service its debt is concerning, especially given that about 83 percent of the country’s revenue is spent on debt servicing.” He said.
Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the NESG-OSIWA Debt Management Roundtable said during the opening remarks, said that debt burden is not about the present but the future.
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Oyedele who doubles as the Head, Tax Practice, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) said debt and credit are not necessarily bad if properly managed, adding that some of the issues affecting debt management in West Africa are poor governance, transparency and use of improper strategies.
“the roundtable will develop analytics that forms basis, fiscal consideration and sustainability, comparative analysis and help to champion advocacy,
However there is a need for collaboration with the private sector through social financing and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). “ he said.
Olusegun Omisakin, Chief economist and research director at NESG, said that the roundtable will allow countries learn from each other and leverage on shared workable solutions.
He added that Resource management is a huge issue in west Africa as countries do not determine the prices of produce, and this leads to improper debt management.
Members of the DMR include, Afolabi Olowokeere, Divisional Head, Economic Research & Policy Management, at Securities Exchange Commission, Babajide Fowowe, Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Musa Dukuly, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Liberia Monrovia and Kenneth Ofori-Boateng, Senior Lecturer, GIMPA Business School, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.
The DMR chairman noted that members of the roundtable representing Francophone countries will be announced later.