Poor governance, lack of transparency and use of improper strategies have been identified as some of the challenges affecting debt management practice in West Africa.
Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) Debt Management Roundtable, Taiwo Oyedele, said this during the launch of the Debt Management Roundtable to help Nigeria and West African countries provide a pathway to fiscal sustainability.
He said the debt burden was not about the present but the future generation, stressing that debt was not necessarily bad if properly managed.
While calling for collaboration with the private sector through social financing and public-private partnership (PPP), he said the roundtable would develop analytics that formed the basis, fiscal consideration and sustainability, comparative analysis and also help to champion advocacy.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, said Nigeria’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio had increased over the years and that the relationship between both kept rising.
He expressed concerns over Nigeria’s ability to service its debt, especially given that a high per cent of the country’s revenue is spent on debt servicing.
He said the roundtable would help provide alternatives and recommendations that the government could apply to ensure that Nigeria’s debt is properly managed.
NESG Chief Economist and Research Director, Dr. Olusegun Omisakin, said the roundtable would enable countries to learn from each other and leverage shared workable solutions.
He reiterated that resource management was a huge issue in West Africa as countries do not determine the prices of produce, adding that this leads to improper debt management.
Members of the NESG-OSIWA Roundtable are Dr. Musa Dukuly, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Liberia Monrovia and Dr. Kenneth Ofori-Boateng, Senior Lecturer, GIMPA Business School and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.