We borrow to pay salaries, Acting AGF reveals

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The Acting Accountant-General of the Federation, Anamekwe Nwabuoku, has revealed that Nigeria was currently borrowing money to pay salaries.

In his words:

“We have to borrow to augment payment of salaries and wages. This shows we are in very difficult times. Government income is highly challenged.”

Nwabuoku disclosed this at a retreat organised by the office of the AGF for members of the technical sub-committee on cash management, TSCM, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

He explained that there was an increase in government expenditure, due to rising security challenges and the social needs of the citizenry.

He said:

“The theme and objective of the retreat couldn’t have been better captioned, given the fiscal challenges at the moment.

”Records available indicate that due to dwindling revenues, the treasury had to resort to other sources to augment the payment of Federal Government public servants.

“There is an increase in government expenditure due to increasing security challenges and social needs of the citizenry.”

The acting AGF stated that there should be deliberate efforts to revert the trend through fiscal discipline, economic diversification, export sector promotion and plugging revenue leakages, among others, to ensure revenue inflow.

“Now that these challenges stare us in the face, you are all expected at this gathering to come out with ideas that will push us through.

“Therefore, we must all, at this retreat, strive towards identifying the challenges to revenue generation and other means of enhancing inflow into federal government cash box; ensuring the cutting down of cost of governance in the most acceptable way and ensuring synergy among and within stakeholders in the sub-committee.”

Meanwhile, the Director of Funds, OAGF, Sabo Mohammed, posited that a deeper fiscal discipline required that government should avoid excessive borrowings.

“It warrants avoiding excessive borrowing and debt accumulation. It’s expected that discussions at this forum will help in improving the capacities of members and stakeholders and getting them more acquainted with Nigeria’s fiscal challenges and advance recovery strategies that will enable effective management and avoid fiscal deficits.”