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AGF: servicing debt with 70% of income okay - THE NATION

JUNE 25, 2019

by  Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, has allayed the fear that servicing the country’s debt with 70 per cent of the national income will not destabilise the economy.

Ahmed, who spoke on Monday in Kano during a visit to the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, insisted that debt servicing will not cause the nation any problem, pointing out that the Federal Government has initiated some strategies to cushion the effect of the debt profile.

He said: “We are doing our best to meet our obligations, even though debt services are obligations and we meet them as at when due. We do not have any problem in settling our debts.

“It is always a burden paying debt and anyone paying debt would know that he is just meeting a burden which has to be made in line with the agreements, some local and international debts, but we just have to abide by all our agreements and obligations.”

Reacting on the 30 per cent revenue generation for the nation’s expenditure, Ahmed explained: “There are number of ways the Federal Government is deploying to boost its revenue generation drive”.

He listed the strategic revenue growth initiative under which all the revenue generating ministries, parastatals are given portfolios to meet revenue targets as one of the critical measures rolled out by the government.

The AGF noted: “All these agencies are given the responsibilities to generate and they are working assiduously to meet up their revenue portfolios.

“So, all these efforts are part of the strategic measures, among other efforts, the federal government is being put in place as strategic plan to boost the revenue generation of the nation.

“Evidently, we are beginning to reap the benefit, but more importantly, the meager amount for spending is being spent efficiently and diligently.

“We have stopped a number of leakages and we would continue to do that because that is what is required to have an efficient public expenditure, with prudent accountability in order to achieve the required efficiency.”

Emir Sanusi II had expressed concern that 70 per cent of the revenue being generated was being used in servicing debt.

He tasked the AGF to be prudent enough in the management of the country’s treasury as those entrusted with public funds must have the fear of God at heart.

The monarch said: “It is very important and honorary responsibility to manage the nation’s treasury especially at this time, where the physical position of government on the balance sheet has been stretched because of debt service.

“And before that is sorted the amount spent on the debt services need to be guided diligently so than we can improved our economic and finances.”

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