The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun has said the only way the federal government can solve the problem of borrowing is to generate more revenue through the payment of tax by Nigerians.
Speaking during a press conference at the 2017 World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Washington DC, United States, on Sunday, she said although the government had a role to play in being more efficient, Nigerians also had a role to play by paying taxes properly.
“The solution to borrowing in Nigeria is that we must pay taxes. If we pay the taxes properly, there’s no need to borrow. I am not suggesting that there isn’t a responsibility on the part of the government to be more responsible and more efficient, we are really focusing on this, we are trying to find a way to cut costs.
“Fundamentally, we must invest. We don’t have the power that we need, we don’t have the roads yet. We are a work in progress. There’s a lot of money to be spent to reposition this economy, and we need to generate much more by way of tax,” she said.
Kemi Adeosun said the nation needs to tolerate more debts by borrowing because Nigeria currently has one of the lowest debt-to-Gross Domestic Product figures in the world adding that the current administration has no plan to go into massive borrowing which it would not be able to sustain.
“Nigeria’s debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio is one of the lowest actually. It is about 19 per cent. Most advanced countries have over 100 per cent. I am not saying we want to move to 100 per cent. But I’m saying we need to tolerate a little bit more debt in the short term to deliver roads, rail, and power.
“That, in itself, will generate economic activities and jobs, which will then generate revenue which will be used to pay back (the loans). It is a strategic decision that as a country we have to make.”
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