• Monday, May 27, 2024
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CISLAC, UK charity outline ways to tackle Nigeria’s debt crisis

CISLAC, UK charity outline ways to tackle Nigeria’s debt crisis

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Christian Aid UK have outlined six policy options to address Nigeria’s debt crisis.

This was revealed at a media presentation on tax expenditure and debt management on Wednesday in Lagos.

They are effective debt management, increased tax effort, public debt auditing, realistic debt management model, progressive tax reform, and public debt management transparency.

“There must be sincere demonstrations in the government’s commitment to addressing Nigeria’s pressing fiscal challenges, encompassing tax expenditure, debt management, revenue mobilisation, and the prioritisation of spending,” Auwal Musa, executive director of CISLAC said.

“By harnessing the collective expertise and insights of all relevant stakeholders, we are confident that we will navigate the complexities of Nigeria’s fiscal landscape and chart a course towards sustainable economic growth and development with

transparency, accountability, and fiscal prudence as guiding principles,” he added.

He said while tax incentives can be valuable tools for stimulating investment and economic activity, unchecked tax expenditures can strain public finances and hinder revenue generation.

“There is a pressing need for a comprehensive review of existing tax incentives to ensure their effectiveness, efficiency, and alignment with national development priorities.”

He also said prudent debt management is essential for safeguarding fiscal sustainability and mitigating risks to macroeconomic stability.

“The government should recognise the urgency of adopting a holistic approach to debt management that balances the need for borrowing with the imperative of debt sustainability.”

Musa said that enhancing revenue mobilisation through tax reforms is crucial for Nigeria’s fiscal sustainability the government should prioritise measures aimed at reviewing and updating tax laws to improve efficiency, equity, and revenue generation.

“Closing loopholes and addressing tax evasion and avoidance through robust enforcement mechanisms and promoting investment-friendly tax policies that stimulate economic growth and job creation,” he said.

Victor Arokoyo, head of programme at Christian Aid UK said, “We are partnering with CISLAC to see how we can galvanise the people to show interest in this matter, to talk about tax expenditure, what are people benefiting from tax.”

“Our organisation is concerned with the issue of debt in Nigeria particularly as it relates to the capacity of the government to deliver on social services,” he said. “There has been growing interest in the government taking more and more loans and our concern is the government not taking the loans responsively.”

“We are interested in how we can reduce the issue of debt in Nigeria and it is increasing the revenue base of the economy where the government reduces the amount of loan it is collecting, unnecessary incentives given to private sector and international organisations,” Arokoyo added.