The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has sounded the alarm over the growing concern surrounding Nigeria’s mounting debt, which has reached a staggering N87 trillion.
The organization expressed its apprehension regarding the administration of President Bola Tinubu’s approach to this alarming fiscal issue.
CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), voiced profound concern in a statement issued recently.
He highlighted that Nigeria’s debt had surged by a staggering 75.29%, representing an increase of N37.53 trillion from the N49.85 trillion recorded at the end of March 2023.
Rafsanjani underscored the fiscal implications of this burgeoning debt on the nation, particularly as it grapples with the challenges of servicing debt interest payments.
This dilemma persists despite the expected monthly savings of approximately N400 billion following the removal of fuel subsidies.
He pointed out that at a time when the international community advocates for substantial debt relief measures and multilateral financial reforms, Nigeria’s deepening debt crisis and fiscal imprudence come under scrutiny.
“With Nigeria facing both significant revenue and debt crises, the current administration is under mounting pressure to address these issues without exacerbating borrowing,” Rafsanjani stated.
Analysts, he said, are urging efforts to reduce the cost of governance, expand the tax base, enhance compliance, and plug financial leakages.
Collaborative efforts between the government and taxpayers are encouraged to boost tax revenue, forging a strong link between access to public services and tax compliance.
Rafsanjani stressed the need for swift implementation of policies promoting tax transparency and nurturing partnerships with taxpayers to ensure that taxes are directly utilized for infrastructure development.
He emphasized the importance of involving informal sector groups in tax compliance initiatives and expanding the whistleblowing policy to gather intelligence for tax enforcement.
Additionally, he underscored the urgent need for the National Assembly to meticulously scrutinize loan requests, ensuring they align with the law and serve the interests of the Nigerian public.
“In response to these pressing concerns, CISLAC fervently calls upon all well-meaning Nigerians to persistently demand fiscal prudence and a heightened concern for the welfare of the citizenry from the government,” the statement concluded.
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