Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, has said that it is only through the instrumentalities of the Debt Management Office, DMO that Nigeria can carefully come out of the looming economic crisis.
The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Adeyinka Ajayi, who led members of the committee on a familiarisation visit to the DMO on Wednesday said that the DMO was the engine room of the nation’s economy that was always expected to come up with sustainable debt management models for the overall prosperity of the country.
“While acknowledging the crucial role the DMO has continued to play in the management of the country’s economy, this visit is significant and historic. The DMO is the engine room of the Nigerian Economy whose initiatives have often prevented the economy from going into recession”, Hon. Ajayi said, noting that with the “current stiff challenges facing the country as a result of the sharp decline in revenues from the sale of crude oil, the DMO is once again, expected to play a pivotal role in the effort to steer the economy out of trouble.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo thanked the Chairman and members of the Committee for “the special favour of coming to be with” them and expressed the DMO’s appreciation of the “invaluable support and deep collaboration it has always enjoyed from the Committee”, which he said has taken the DMO through turbulent times in the nation’s recent economic experience.
In his presentation titled ‘Brief on the Mandate and Activities of the Debt Management Office, the Dr Nwankwo briefly recounted the background to the establishment of the DMO and outlined the milestones achieved by the Office since its inception. He reviewed the successes recorded by the DMO in revamping the hitherto moribund Domestic Debt Market and the successful launch of the Nigerian flag in the International Capital Market with its debut 500 million USD Eurobond issuance in 2011 and subsequent issuances in 2013 to raise funds towards financing the deficits in the national budget.
Citing the successful programme through which the DMO assisted the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT to establish their own Debt Management Departments (DMDs) and the novel fiscal stabilisation intervention of the DMO which saw to the restructuring of the debts owed to Commercial Banks by some States into long tenured bonds, the DG stressed the need for Nigerians to face the reality that oil boom was over and may not reoccur anytime soon – by making wise decisions to invest in infrastructure, revamp agriculture, improve power supply and focus on the real sector. This, he said will make the economy more productive and competitive.