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Buhari’s minister speaks on IMF’s concerns over Nigeria’s alleged debt weakness

– Udo Udoma, the minister of budget and national planning, says there is need for Nigeria’s debt profile to be adequately monitored

– Udoma states that Nigeria needs to improve its revenues and bring down debt service to revenue ratio to more comfortable levels

– The minister says the country is broadening its tax base through policy reforms such as the tax amnesty programme

Udo Udoma, the minister of budget and national planning, has admitted to concerns raised by the International Monetary Fund on Nigeria’s debt vulnerabilities.

The minister on Thursday, October 11, during the presentation of IMF regional economic outlook report for Sub-Sahara Africa at the ongoing IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Bali, said Nigeria’s debt profile should be adequately monitored, The Punch reports.

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“Even though we in Nigeria have one of the lowest debt levels among our African peers, we realise that we need to improve our revenues to bring down our debt service to revenue ratio to more comfortable levels,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his special adviser on media, Akpandem James.

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“We are broadening our tax base through policy reforms such as the tax amnesty programme. This, among, other measures, has resulted in the number of taxpayers rising from 13 million to over 19 million. We are also deploying technology in tax and customs’ collections to automate processes and enhance efficiencies.

Udo Udoma said Nigeria’s external debt is primarily concessional borrowing, representing 54% of the country’s external debt as of June 2018.

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“The Debt Sustainability Analysis is conducted annually to reaffirm that our public debt stock is sustainable. In Nigeria, our borrowing is being utilised principally to fix our infrastructure,” Udoma added.

In other news, the federal operations unit, zone A, Ikeja of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), has revealed that it intercepted several contraband, including bulletproof vehicles, with a duty paid value of N2,017,953,507 between Tuesday, September 4, to Wednesday, October 3, TV news reports.

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The seized items included 22 exotic vehicles, 11,303 bags of foreign parboiled rice (18 trailers), 2410 frozen poultry products, 853 Jerry cans of vegetable oil, 245 parcels of Indian hemp, 4 by 40 feet containers of unprocessed wood, 2,017 bales of used clothing, and 283 cartons of various pharmaceuticals all without NAFDAC registration number.

Mohammed Aliyu, the controller of the unit, displaying the seized contrabands to newsmen in Lagos revealed that the 22 cars seized, which include bulletproof vehicles, have a duty paid value of N1,179,889,909.8.

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Source: Naija.ng


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