The director general, Debt Management Office (DMO), Mrs Patience Oniha, has called on the 36 state governments and the FCT, to as a matter of utmost urgency, find ways of checking financial recklessness in their areas of jurisdiction with a view to looking into the rising trend of debt in their states.
Oniha said the Debt Management Office, being the statutory agency responsible in checking financial excesses and bad management of debt, has the professional know how on how debts could be managed hence, the need to step in and guide debtors – states, on how to go about servicing debts concerning their states.
“It is not a sin to collect debt but it is a bad thing to mismanage it.”
She said the call has become imperative since Nigeria’s total public debt continues to grow, moving from the N2.3 trillion mark it was in 2014 to a new record of N4.7 trillion in December, this year.
Speaking at National Sensitisation Workshop, organised on sub-national debt management for top policy makers in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory in Kano yesterday, Oniha, said all hands must be on deck, to control and effectively manage debts.
The agency, the DG said, decided to organise the sensitisation programme in order to enlist the support of sub-national actors in ensuring an orderly borrowing, as well as generate strategies to manage the existing debt.
She insisted on the need for each component of the sub national entities to establish a Debt Management Office, which would be backed up with a legislative instrument by the respective state houses of assembly.