Debt: Minister suggests more taxes to reduce Nigeria’s burden

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has recommended a way to reduce Nigeria’s debt burden.

Ahmed stated that only the collection of more taxes and effective blocking of revenue leakages were realistic measures that would drastically cut borrowings and reduce the nation’s high debt burden.

She made this statement at a workshop on tax expenditure organized by the ECOWAS Commission under the Context of the Implementation of the Support Programme for Tax Transition in West Africa (PATF) in Abuja.

The workshop is aimed at examining directives on the harmonization of tax expenditure management practices and the monitoring and evaluation of tax transition in ECOWAS member states.

The minister, represented by the Director, Technical Services in the Ministry, Fatima Hayatu, said the issue of tax expenditure was a great concern for the government.

She said: “If we have more taxes and redirect the taxes to the right fiscal sectors of our economy, we will reduce our debt burden. It is not as if the debt is beyond what the government can handle. If you look at the ratio of debt to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), I think the government is doing well.

“The debt is not something that cannot be surmounted. The program is to block leakages where the taxes are being diverted. So, if we block leakages, and if it is transparent, Nigeria will borrow less and we will have more money to finance other sectors”.



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