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We borrow to pay salaries, says Ag. AGF Nwabuoku

Acting Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Anamekwe Nwabuoku, has declared that Nigeria was currently borrowing money to pay salaries.

The Accountant-General of the Federation disclosed this at a retreat organised by the office of the AGF for members of the technical sub-committee on cash management, TSCM, on Tuesday, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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Mr. Nwabuoku said there was an increase in Federal Government’s expenditure due to rising security challenges and the social needs of the citizenry.

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.

“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 advised 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.”

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Also, Mr. Nwabuoku commended the effort of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, for her consistent support in improving members’ capabilities.

On his part, Director of Funds in the OAGF, Sabo Mohammed, said a deeper fiscal discipline required that government avoided excessive borrowings.

According to Mohammed, “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.”