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As Jigawa debt hits N63.36 billion, group advocates for proper debt utilization

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By Yaseer Ahmad, Dutse

 

Despite Jigawa state government is on commendable track record of fiscal discipline and debt sustainability, but still the total domestic and foreign debt on the state stand at N63.36 billion as of June 30,2023.

The Tax Justice and Governance Platform (TJGP) in collaboration with other Civil Society Organisations in the state, led by executive director Prime initiative for community development and transperency, Muhammad Abdu Dutse announced the development while addressing news men on economic challenges and public debt management held on Friday in Dutse the state capital.

He explained that, over the past five years Jigawa state witnessed a concerning decline in revenue generation, aligning with the national trajectory resulted in budget deficit and borrowing to meet essential expenditure obligation.

“It is not worthy that Jigawa state remain least indebted state in the country and in the North-west zone, with a total debt growth of 60.11 percent from 2016 to 2021, however the recent increase in domestic debt to N43.13 billion and slight decrease in foreign debt to N20.23 billion underscore the need for careful monitoring and proactive debt management measures” he said.

Therefore according to him, the platform in collaboration with Civil society organisations and stakeholders suggested the recommendation to enhance fiscal management, revenue mobilization, and debt sustainability.

The platform called for conducting thorough investigation into the utilization of loans acquired by the state, ensuring transparency and accountability in expenditure allocation, revising legal and institutional frameworks related to debt management to reinforce transparency and accountability measures.

The group also suggested for amendment of relevant fiscal responsibility laws, redefining purposes of borrowing to prioritize projects that promote value chain development, infrastructure enhancement, and strategic human capital development, debt sustainability assessment as well as harmonizing tax laws and rates streamline revenue mobilization.

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