By Asmau Ahmad
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commended the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) for its debt management support to Nigerian states.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele gave the commendation on Tuesday in Abuja, at a Sub-national Debt Management Performance Assessment Training for participants from states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The workshop was organised by WAIFEM, in collaboration with World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Emefiele, who was represented by Dr Hassan Mahmud, Director, Monetary Policy Department of the CBN, said the support to states would help maximise benefits of borrowings.
“We appreciate the World Bank for their long-standing support in the areas of public, financial and debt management in Nigeria.
“The current effort is to extend this assistance to state governments to enhance their debt management and maximise the benefit of public borrowing through capacity building.
“This will allow the country to reach greater heights in embracing sound practices in public debt management,” he said.
He said that Nigeria had benefited from the system and would continue to do so.
Dr Yusuf Musa, Director-General of WAIFEM, said that the institute was established in 1996, by the central banks of the five West African Anglophone countries.
These countries are Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, with an observer status occupied by the Republic of Guinea.
Dr Musa said that WAIFEM had, in the past 27 years, successfully carried out over 874 capacity building programmes in macroeconomic, public debt, and financial sector management.
He said that the programmes had benefited over 24,492 public sector managers from the sub-region and beyond.
He said that there was the need to focus on the increasingly topical issue of debt management.
“The scope of sovereign debt management in today’s world, is much wider.
“Though still a subset of fiscal policy, debt management at both the national and subnational levels of government is seen as a separate public policy area with its own objectives.
“Its objective is much more focus on raising the required amount of funding, achieve its risk and cost objectives, strategy development, and accountability,” he said.
He said that since 2007, the World Bank introduced The Government Debt Management Performance Assessment (DeMPA) tool as part of the armory for effective debt management performance.
According to him, the tool provides mechanism for assessing debt management performance in developing countries at national and sub-national level of government.
“It is based on the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) format for public financial management and sound practices in government debt management.
“The DeMPA is useful in conducting country dialogue, guiding the design of debt management reform programmes, enhancing donor harmonisation, and monitoring performance over time,” he said.