Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Thursday, December 10, bemoaned the debts being incurred by Nigeria, stating “it is getting out of control and the country has to do something about it.”
According to El-Rufai, the country’s domestic debt was getting to its debt ceiling as far as liquidity was concerned; adding that there was no need to pretend that Nigeria’s debt-to-gross Domestic Product ratio was still low.
1st News had reported in September 2020 that the Debt Management Office released Nigeria’s total public debt stock as of June 30, 2020, and put the country’s debt portfolio at N31tn, indicating an increase of N2.38tn within a space of three months.
To further buttress this point, El-Rufai during his submission at a virtual event organised by the World Bank; stated that most rich Nigerians did not pay income tax.
He noted that it had been tough to fund security due to the numerous expenses incurred by the government.
The governor said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s involvement in many activities should be addressed; adding that the country’s rising debt should be controlled.
El-Rufai said, “You can’t fund security more than you are doing now unless you reduce spending on other ministries, departments, and agencies.
“The extensive way in which the Central Bank is into everything, I think, has to be addressed and dealt with. And we must look at our domestic debt management and do something about it.
“It is getting out of control and we are getting to our debt ceiling as far as liquidity is concerned. And to pretend that our debt-to-GDP ratio is still low, I think is not the answer to the question.”
On the collection of taxes by the federal and state governments; El-Rufai said it was worrisome to note that many rich Nigerians defaulted in the payment of taxes.
He said, “It is a travesty that in Nigeria, as of 2018, just about 20 people in the whole country paid more than N20m in income tax. It is a travesty and something should be done.”
The governor said the federal and state governments were not doing enough to target rich people and get them to pay the right amount of tax.