Borrowing to pay salaries evidence of dire financial crisis –Accountant General
The Acting Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Chukwuyere Anamekwe, has said that it is unfortunate that Nigeria is borrowing money to pay salaries.
The AGF who said this at the opening of the fourth retreat for members of the technical sub-committee on cash management held yesterday in Nasarawa State, said the country’s expenditures are higher than its revenue which shouldn’t be so.
According to him, “Due to dwindling revenues, the treasury had to resort to other sources in order to augment for the payment of federal government public servants. It is absurd. Ordinarily we shouldn’t borrow to pay salaries.”
Speaking on the theme of the retreat which is ‘Enthroning Fiscal Discipline in Nigeria’s Public Financial Management: A Clarion Call to all Stakeholders’, Anamekwe said the retreat couldn’t have been better captioned given the fiscal challenges the nation is facing at the moment.
He said there is an increase in government expenditure due to rising security challenges and social needs of the citizenry.
“These issues call for an articulated deployment of fiscal discipline and strategies that will help mitigate these challenges,” he said, adding, “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.”
He challenged the participants at the retreat to strive towards identifying the challenges to revenue generation and other means of enhancing inflow into government coffers as well as ensuring the cutting down of the cost of governance in the most acceptable way.
He also tasked participants on ensuring synergy among and within stakeholders in the sub-committee, and ensuring that the sub-committee gives quality and profitable advice to the federal cash management committee.
He said that the cash management retreat has become a veritable tool providing needed platform for sharing quality information and knowledge that help to keep stakeholders abreast with public financial management reforms; managing fiscal challenges, evolving effective and efficient cash management tools that can strengthen individual and collective capacities.
Earlier, in his goodwill message, the representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Governor, Husaini Kagara, of the Banking Services Department, CBN, said the choice of the theme of the retreat was apt.
According to him, we need to plug all loopholes to stop revenue leakages to be able to maximise our revenue.
He called on the participants to come up with a sustainable way to manage public expenditure, saying, “fiscal discipline is about balancing your revenue and expenditure.”