Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), on Sunday said the organisation would continue to support state governments to build the skills of debt management officers. Nwankwo made the disclosure in Abuja. He said the DMO would be helping the states to build up their debt data on quarterly basis to ensure efficiency in debt management.
“We have a strategic programme that lasts up to 2017 and the strategic programme is for every year, the things we have to do every quarter is already specified.
“So everything we are supposed to do is in our strategic plan and we have met all of them. Among the other routine things that we have to be doing include that we continue with the programme we have with the states. We are working with the states to update their debt data on quarterly basis to train their staff on debt management, particularly since they have had staff movement in many states of the federation,” he said
According to him, DMO will continue working with the states, visiting them and staying with them to retrain their staff and building a bigger reserve of capable debt management skills in all the states of the federation.
He assured the states that the office would continue to make sure that foreign loans that were negotiated were signed and the disbursement carried out according to plan.
This, he said, would help to provide the funds needed for the implementation of various projects they were meant for. He commended the commitment and the interest of the states in establishing debt management offices.
“All the states are keen to continue improving on this, in general, all the states are doing well and they are continuing to improve,” he said.
Dr Abraham Nwankwo urged Nigerian producers to use the leverage provided by the Federal Government to produce goods that could be exported to help to grow the national reserve.
“If Nigerian individuals and companies produce and export more than we import, we earn foreign exchange and if we import less, our foreign reserves will be growing because we are adding more to it than we are drawing from. So, the essential simple way for the reserve to grow is for Nigerian individuals, households and companies to be productive enough to compete internationally, to export goods and services and earn foreign exchange. They must depend less on imports, practically imports of consumer goods which is the strategic thrust of the government within the transformation agenda,” he said
Nwankwo said that in the long term, the DMO contributes to the growth of foreign reserves by supporting not only government but also the private sector through the creation of a market for long term force. This, he said, placed the private sector in a position to access the long term funds to produce goods and services, including those that could be exported to earn foreign exchange.
“The DMO is also helping to source funds for the development of infrastructure which will not only help to increase productivity but reduce cost of production, improve competitiveness and therefore make Nigerian goods more acceptable in the International market. It will thereby make the country to earn more foreign exchange,” he said.
Nwankwo said that there was the need to ensure that instead of exporting just crude products, primary products, primary solid minerals, primary agricultural products, it was processed to create more value.