The Acting Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Chukwuyere Anamekwe, has decried Nigeria’s dwindling economic fortune, saying the country has to borrow to pay workers’ salaries and wages and finance the budget shortfall.
Speaking at a retreat organised on Tuesday, by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for members of the Technical Sub-committee On Cash Management (TSCM), he said serious efforts must be made to revert the trend through fiscal discipline, economic diversification, boosting export, and plugging revenue leakages, among others.
With the theme: “Enthroning fiscal discipline in Nigeria’s public Financial management: A Clarion Call to Stakeholders,” the acting AGF lamented that insecurity across the country has increased the government expenditure.
He said, “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 in order 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.”
He noted that the myriads of socio-economic challenges call for an articulated deployment of fiscal discipline and strategies that will help mitigate them.
“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 coffers; ensuring the cutting down the cost of governance in the most acceptable way and ensuring synergy amongst and within stakeholders in the sub-committee,” he added.
While commending the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, for her consistent support in approving them, he noted that the gesture has continued to help in improving the capacities of members and stakeholders; thereby getting them more acquainted with Nigeria’s fiscal challenges and other cash management related matters.
He urged the attendees to ensure that the event helps in the advancement of the desired recovery strategies since it has become a veritable tool providing the needed platform for sharing quality information and knowledge that help to keep public servants abreast with public financial management reforms; managing fiscal challenges, evolving effective and efficient cash management tool, among others.