Monday, May 21, 2018 4.00PM / Proshare WebTV
The International Monetary Fund is asking Nigeria to give top priority to attracting significant private investments and driving robust domestic revenue mobilization, to boost economic growth.
This was part of the submissions from the IMF Spring 2018 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, presented by the Senior Resident Representative and Mission Chief for Nigeria Mr Amine Mati.
Speaking on the report Titled: “Domestic Revenue Mobilization and Private Investment”, Mr Mati noted that the latest Q1,2018 GDP growth rate of Nigeria at 1.95%, was within the IMF projection of 2.1% for 2018.
He harped on the need for Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan economies to push policies that reduce macro-economic vulnerabilities, while pursuing growth that surpasses the population rate.
The IMF representative asserted that the SSA region will experience moderate growth, but will have to address the debt vulnerabilities that is rising. Giving further insight Mati revealed that 15 countries in the region were in debt distress at the moment.
On the workability of attracting private investments, he called for an effective Public-Private Partnership model and Special Economic Zones, with institutional and legal frameworks that will lead to significant foreign direct investments (FDIs)
According to him “Increasing private investment is critical for the region to achieve sustainable growth and improve social outcomes over the medium term”.
In the area of domestic revenue mobilization, Mati informed stakeholders that it was one of the pressing policy challenge facing Sub-Saharan African countries.
From the report he shared that despite substantial progress in revenue mobilization over the past two decades, Sub-Saharan Africa was the region with the lowest revenue-to-GDP ratio.
The IMF believes the region can on average, mobilize 3-5% percent of GDP in additional tax revenues but will need to strengthen the value-added tax systems, streamline exemptions; and expand coverage of income taxes.
It also called for the introduction of new measures of taxation , such as property taxes, and harnessing technologies that will ensure cost efficiency and eventually improve tax revenue .
Giving her remarks at the IMF report presentation the Director-General of the Debt Management Office Ms. Pat Oniha shared that the borrowings carried out by the DMO, were targeted at capital expenditure that will impact the economy.
She was of the view that government must remain focused on providing key services and creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.
The CEO of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Mr Laoye Jaiyeola on his part decried the fact Nigeria at the moment has not developed a robust public-private partnership framework to work with.
Mr Jaiyeola called for the scaling up of the private sector in the country and transparency in the open governance partnership signed by the Federal Government