Fiscal deficit: ActionAid wants CSOs, NLC involved in discussions to contract debt

ActionAid Nigeria has said that in the face of dwindling revenue and widening fiscal deficit, there is a need for the National Assembly, Debt Management Office DMO, Federal Economic Council to minimize accumulation of external debt by involving the Civil Society Organization (CSO’s) and labour Unions in discussions to contract debt.

The Country Director, Ene Obi represented by the Director of Resource, Mobilization and Innovation, ActionAid Nigeria, Andrew Mamedu said there is the need to ensure that public borrowings are transparently applied to sectors that would improve gender-responsive public services and address poverty.

Andrew while presenting a paper on the Policy and Advocacy Brief on Trends in Public Sector Wage Bills in Nigeria and Effect on Public Service Delivery in Abuja said achieving a stable macroeconomic environment is also vital for enhancing the welfare of Nigerian workers.

He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should continue to pursue its policy of achieving a single-digit inflation rate as well as a stable exchange rate.

He said as an alternative for revenue generation, there is a need to also improve Nigeria’s tax revenue by widening the tax net.

“This would involve improvement in tax collection, blocking leakages and ensuring that companies doing businesses in Nigeria pay their taxes.

“With the need for more public investment in education, health, agriculture and other social sectors, expanding the financing to these sectors would be vital. Efficient use of resources would, however, be important in other to ensure effective service delivery and strengthen the nation’s position to attain the SDGs.

On the findings , the Senior Research Fellow and Consultant for ActionAid Nigeria , Terfa Abraham said that from 2011 to 2020, Nigeria has had a planned total federal government spending of N65.9 trillion with a recurrent share of 77% and 23% capital.

He said the trend of the overall federal government budget has continued to increase the share of allocation to agriculture, health, and education, have been abysmal and falls below expected global minimum benchmarks.

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