By Simon Akoje
Lagos, Sept. 7, 2020 A Don, Dr Bright Erega, has urged the Federal Government to harness its revenue generating agencies more to meet its financial obligations to slow down borrowing.
Erega, who teaches economics at the Pan Atlantic University, told newsmen in Lagos on Monday that the Federal Government must computerise the various revenue generating agencies to shore up their remittance.
“The Federal Government must broaden its revenue generation rather than borrowing and be in more debt.
“The authorities must endeavour to explore more technology in incorporating the informal sector into the tax schemes.
“This is as incorporating more informal sector will enhance fiscal revenue in order for the government to meet its social contract to the people.’’
Erega also advised government to computerise and digitise its revenue generating agencies for improved transparency and efficiency, adding that it would increase resources thereby limiting the spate of borrowing.
“For example, the country will not need to borrow more if it automates the Nigeria Customs Service.
“ Providing the Customs Service with the right tools to work with will enable them meet their revenue projection.
“ The customs will be more efficient and will not need to waste so much unending hours in inspecting goods at the various ports,” he said.
NAN reports that the Director-General, Debt Management Office, Ms Patience Oniha, had on Sept. 2, defended the nation’s debt profile, saying borrowing was not restricted to Nigeria.
Oniha had told journalists in Abuja that many big countries also borrowed to keep their markets open and that Nigerians should be concerned on how the loans were being utilised.
The National Bureau of Statistics in its Q1 2020 report put the total public debt as of March 31, 2020 at N28.63 trillion.
“Nigerian states and Federal Debt Stock data as of March 31, 2020, reflected that the country’s total public debt portfolio stood at N28.63 trillion,’’ the NBS reported.