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Government claims nation’s N24.38tr debt profile sustainable


National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma (left); Informationa  Minister, Lai Mohammed; Justice Minister, Mallam Abubakar Malami, and Aviation Minister of State, Alhaji Hadi Seraki  briefing the  media at the end of  the Federal  Executive  Council meeting at  the State House Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

To pay N1.3b claims to 497 relatives of deceased civil servants
The Federal Government stated yesterday that there was no cause for alarm over the country’s rising debt profile. Nigeria’s total debt profile as at December 31, 2018 was N24.387 trillion, showing an increase of 12.25 per cent from N21.725trillion in 2017.

But according to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, the level of debts incurred by the country remains sustainable. He disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“The debts are sustainable. Every nation borrows. We are working on increasing our revenues. We do have a revenue challenge and we are focusing on that. Once the revenues come up, it will be obvious that we do not have a debt problem at all.

“We are working on a number of initiatives to increase our revenues. We are looking at initiatives to widen the tax pay. We are looking at initiatives to increase efficiency in collections. We are looking at a single window, which will help to increase efficiency and custom collections. We are looking at many different ways to improve revenues,” the minister said.

Commenting on the progress made so far by the National Assembly on the 2019 Appropriation Bill, the Udo said: “With regard to the budget, we are happy to see the focus of the National Assembly on the budget and we look forward to whenever it is passed and the executive receiving it.”

President Muhammadu Buhari presented the budget to the National Assembly late in December 2018. Also yesterday, the government said it had concluded plans to pay all outstanding group life assurance claims of not less than N1.3 billion to 497 relatives of deceased civil servants across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by the end of April.

At the second edition of the Permanent Secretary’s Quarterly Forum with Labour Leaders in MDAs in Abuja, Head of Service (HOS), Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, said verification was conducted in January this year to confirm the veracity of claims submitted by MDAs.

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Udoma Udo Udoma
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