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DMO ASSURES OF PUBLIC DEBT SUSTAINABILITY

By NBF News
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The Debt Management Office (DMO) has given assurance that the country's public debt remains within sustainability limits despite the rising profile.

Director-General of the DMO, Dr Abraham Nwankwo, stated that though the country's total public debt stood at N7.55 trillion as at December 2012, comprising external debt of $6.5 billion and domestic debt of N6.5 trillion, it was still much lower than the 40 per cent debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio prescribed for countries within Nigeria's tier group.

Nwankwo, who spoke in Abuja during the flag-off the Sub-national Debt Sustainability Analysis/Portfolio Review Training programme for staff of Debt Management Departments (DMDs) of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said; 'Our debt continues to remain sustainable. The country's debt to GDP ratio as at last year was 19.4 per cent which is far below the 40 per cent threshold for companies in our tier group.'

He however maintained that government was not just interested in the debt statistics, but was rather laying emphasis on value for money to ensure that whatever was borrowed was used in such a way that it would help to maximise growth and employment generation and poverty alleviation.

Commenting on the purpose of the training for staff of state DMDs, Nwankwo stated that it was part of the process of building a robust and effective debt sustainability framework not just at the central level but also at the sub-national levels.

'We have been working with the states to ensure that we build very robust and effective sub-national debt management departments in all the states and FCT and over the past five years, we have achieved all our objective to very significant levels.

'When we started, we worked with all the states to develop a common template for establishing DMDs in all states of the federation and also gave ourselves the deadline December 2012, to complete the project.

'The seminar we are currently having with the states is a two-week exercise for the purpose of training the staff of the states and FCT on debt sustainability analysis. Every year, we conduct debt sustainability analysis at the federal level now that states have adequate capacity for public debt management in terms of the establishment of DMDs,' he said.