The British High Commission in Abuja has said that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit can be fixed if the non-oil sector is explored.
The commission also expressed concern that with about 10% Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Nigeria has one of the lowest levels of revenue generation in Africa.
Speaking at a Citizens Dialogue on Fiscal Governance and Economic Resilience: “Emerging Issues and Policy Options, organised by Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) Engaged Citizens Pillar (ECP) in Abuja, the governance team leader at the High Commission, Lucy Hayes, said though they had seen some improvements in internal revenue generation at state level, there is more to be done.
“But we also know that Nigeria – at less than 10% of GDP has one of the lowest levels of revenue generation in Africa. And we know that Nigeria’s fiscal deficit – now at more than 6%- has been
exacerbated by Covid.
Diversifying and increasing non-oil revenue is critical to help finance essential infrastructure and services sustainably,” she said.
Hayes said without a diversified economy and a stronger tax-based less dependent on oil, Nigeria’s economic resilience would continue to be shaken by global oil price changes.
“And those shocks will only get stronger as the world enters a phase of transition away from fossil fuels. This conversation cannot come
soon enough,” she said.
Hayes who said the UK was pleased to support the dialogue on fiscal governance and economic resilience, added that they had been supporting governance reforms in Nigeria for nearly 20 years.
“And we have seen some strong progress in a number of states. We have seen improvements in the budgeting process, in the allocation of resources to basic service delivery and in improved health and education outcomes.