DMO: We’re committed to efficient debt mgt operations across 36 states – DG

By Our Reporter 

Director General, Debt Management Office, Nigeria (DMO), Patience Oniha has said that the agency is commited to ensuring efficient debt management operations across the 36 states of Nigeria.

The DG made the assertion in her remark at the presentation of “Guidelines for The Legal Framework for States’ Debt Management Operations,” to the thirty six states of the Federation on Tuesday in Abuja.

I am very delighted to welcome you all to this virtual Workshop, arranged by the Debt Management Office (DMO) to present the “Guidelines for the Legal Framework for States’ Debt Management Operations” to the thirty-six (36) States of the Federation. 

The DG noted that the DMO is one of the Implementing Agencies in the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Program, a Program which is a collaboration between the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the thirty-six (36) State Governments. 

According to her, under the program, the DMO is responsible for the implementation of three (3) mandates, all of which are debt-related. 

She pointed out that the event has been arranged as one of the activities towards the achievement of the Disbursement-Linked Indicator (DLI) 7 on, “Strengthened public debt management and fiscal responsibility framework.”  

She added that the DLI requires that States should have robust State-level legislations which incorporates amongst others; responsibilities for contracting State debt, for recording and reporting State debt, as well as, fiscal and debt rules and/or limits for States. 

The DG stressed Legislations and institutional arrangements are widely acknowledged as invaluable tools for ensuring that systems and processes in Government work on an on-going basis. 

She therefore, said that the DLI 7 is most appropriate and relevant for debt management operation. 

She said,”By way of information, the DMO had several years ago entered into partnership with State Governments and Federal Capital Territory on a number of debt management initiatives including capacity building, debt data capturing and legislations. 

“The SFTAS Program has upscaled these initiatives, improved the level of commitment, and, brought a sense of urgency to improve public debt management at the Sub-national level. Overall, the outcome is a strong positive.

“From our records, twenty-three (23) States have already enacted laws and Fiscal Frameworks in their respective States and by extension earned the SFTAS World Bank grant associated with this DLI 7. 

“The DMO is committed to ensuring that the remaining thirteen (13) States meet this requirement. 

 “We expect that at the end of this Workshop, States will have a clear understanding of the guidelines and requirements of State Debt Legislation and the Institutional Frameworks required for efficient debt management operations, whose ultimate objective, is to ensure that borrowing is prudent and that debt is sustainable.”

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