The Debt Management Office (DMO) says it is determined to support the Federal Government in bridging the gap between its revenue and expenditure to achieve steady economic growth.
Its Director General, Ms Patience Oniha, told newsmen in Lagos that the office would focus more on loan repayment, utilization and proper implementation of annual budgets.
Oniha also assured that DMO would explore various ways to effectively manage the nation’s debts stock.
She said that the DMO, under her leadership, “will focus on loan repayment and loan utilisation to ensure proper implementation of Nigeria’s budget’’.
She said that the agency also intended to set out clear debt repayment plans.
“For many years, the government had operated a deficit budget under the guise of stimulating economic growth and revenue was less than expenditure.”
“DMO will support the government to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure,’’ the director general as says.
Oniha said that by bridging the gap between revenue and expenditure, the goals of the budget and the Medium-Term Expenditure (MTE) plan would be achieved.
She said that government was now focusing on capital projects as part of strategies to reverse the trend and turn around the economy.
“That is why government’s focus is on borrowing.”
“We need to upscale things so as to achieve goals of government.”
Oniha said that the government had since March been going to the market to raise bonds in order to take the nation out of the economic recession.
According to her, since the first quarter of 2014, when oil prices started tumbling, prices has yet to recover and has been hovering at 50 dollars per barrel.
She recalled that in 2015, the government submitted three different budget for the same year due to fluctuations in global oil price.
Oniha said this was so because the price of oil was being used as the benchmark in the preparation of the budget.
She that in spite of dwindling resources government still had the responsibilities to fix power, roads, education and other infrastructure with available funds.
The director general solicited the cooperation of the media to join hands with the DMO to achieve successes in the task of turning the nation’s economy around.
The DMO was established on Oct. 4, 2000 to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt which was hitherto being done by a myriad of establishments in an uncoordinated fashion.
The Federal Government appointed Oniha as the director general effective from July 1.
She succeeded Abraham Nwankwo who retired from the service in the first week of July.
Until her appointment, Oniha served as the pioneer Head of Efficiency Unit created by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to help government cut cost of governance, moderate overhead expenditure and generate savings through procurement processes.