Rights group decries Nigeria’s huge debt, pushes for fiscal reforms
Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have decried Nigeria’s public debt profile of N87 trillion, describing it as unsustainable.
Led by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, the CSOs operating under the aegis of the Growth Initiatives for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) with support from the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) funded by USAID canvassed the reformation of the public finance management system.
The group also called on the federal and state governments to institute urgent measures to cut waste, inefficiencies and corruption to save the country from collapse.
A statement by the Project Manager of GIFT, Regina Udo, announced that the CSOs would focus their energies on engaging the 10th National Assembly to see to the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) 2007 (amendment) Bill as a strong measure to bring sanity to the fiscal space.
While noting that the huge public debt profile has been encouraged by weak revenue mobilisation, poor remittance culture and corruption in public expenditure, the statement said citizens and stakeholders across public, private and non-governmental sectors would be mobilised to address the failing fiscal health of the nation.
The GIFT Project, the group further noted, would also advocate for implementing the FRA 2007 Act at the national and sub-national levels, especially as it relates to debt management and revenue remittances to government coffers, “building on some of the gains recorded in the first year of implementation which included providing technical support on public projects monitoring and evaluation through the ConsTrack civic technology tool built and deployed by OrderPaper.”
It added: “To achieve the advocacy goal of entrenching fiscal responsibility in the public sphere, the GIFT project would be implementing several activities which are designed to impact change by working with the National Assembly to ensure passage of the FRA Amendment Bill and enforce extant provisions relating to debt and borrowing by the federal and state governments.
“We would also embark on intensive citizen engagement activities to sensitise the general public on the need to demand transparency and accountability from the government, especially as regards revenue generation and public expenditure because by doing so, we can collectively address the rampaging effects of waste and corruption in public finance.”
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