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Debt servicing consuming Nigeria’s revenues, says LCCI

Oluwasina Phillip

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has advised the Federal and State Governments to liberalise the infrastructure sector by breaking government monopoly and securitize corporate assets via public offerings to attract investment.

According to an official statement released and signed by the Director-General of the LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, the chamber listed multiple recommendations to address the fiscal and financial challenges of the country including the rising debt service to revenue ratio and moribund assets generating no income for the country.

It said, “The country’s debt situation has become worrisome with debt servicing consuming a significant share of the revenue. The debt service to revenue ratio for the period of January to May 2021 stood at about 98 per cent up from 83 per cent recorded in 2020 according to the budget implementation report.

“Nigeria is an asset-rich nation owning hundreds of large state-owned companies, valuable parcels of land, and built structures in prime commercial locations that are grossly underutilised and contribute too little to the country’s fiscal and financial situation because their market values are currently not known.”

The chamber said that there was an urgent need for the federal and state governments to do an official identification of public assets with proper documentation in a national asset register.

The statement said, “Corporate assets like refineries, state-owned enterprises should be securitised via public share issuance to raise equities like Saudi Aramco’s IPO.

“Physical assets such as idle or under-utilised properties could be repurposed and redeveloped for commercialisation to generate revenue.

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