From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
With Nigeria’s total debt stock primed to peak at N50 trillion this year, International Monetary Fund ((IMF) at the weekend, promised to finance more projects in the country with more lending funds to the government.
Speaking at the National Economic Dialogue on ‘Critical Challenges Confronting the Nigerian Economy’ organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja, Resident Representative of IMF, Mr Ari Aisen, posited that Nigeria as a big economy was capable of repaying its debts if the funds were properly channelled to good use.
He said that without financing, Nigeria may not be able to pay salaries and arrears of salaries. Also, the country may not be able to tackle emergencies.
“When you face a shock, you need someone to lend you a hand. Of course, you will be paying your debt. There is no doubt that Nigeria with a big economy will be able to repay its debt and will pay all its creditors. I think it’s very important that we keep that in mind.
“It’s important for Nigeria to have development partners that can provide financing in times of need. There should not be any shame in requesting for assistance either during emergencies or out of emergencies. Of course, the right economic policy should be developed. In IMF we advise people to develop capacity” he explained.
On the question of taxation, IMF advised the government to develop a tax system that is progressive.
Aisen said that the government should make tax payment easy for Nigerians and develop trust among the citizens.