Nigeria and other West African economies have been assessed to need the provision of more technical and institutional support that would improve significantly the capacity development within the sub-region.
Besides, the ability to mobilize resources and build institutions with the capabilities to allocate them effectively is the foundation of a strong economic management team.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who made the observations yesterday, said more technical and institutional support from the Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center West 2 (AFRITAC West 2) for the sub-regional economies would be a welcome development.
She made the call while declaring open the sixth Steering Committee meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)–AFRITAC West 2, in Abuja.The event was attended by the Senior Resident Representative of the IMF in Nigeria, Amine Mati; AFRITAC West 2 Coordinator, Oral Williams; Director-General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze; and Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler.
The event also had delegates from Ghana, Cape Verde, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria in attendance. “The transfer of these technical capabilities and emergence of stronger institutions will increase the economic resilience of member-countries.“These countries will have the technical capability to successfully and independently manage their economies to effectively deliver on critical development imperatives,” she said.
Adeosun assured that the Nigerian government was committed to the diversification of the economy from over-reliance on oil, adding that the economy would soon be shielded from the negative effects of dependence on a singular resource.The government, she said, is currently mobilizing domestic revenue through taxes to improve the economy and foster economic development.
“AFRITAC has supported this effort by conducting the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool, which provided Nigeria (and other member-countries that have successfully completed it) with an objective assessment of key components of our tax system.
“We see this work as critical to Nigeria’s future development, and would support its continued implementation,” she said.The minister urged member-countries of the sub-region to collaborate with AFRITAC to strengthen country ownership of the various capacity development interventions.
The Coordinator of AFRITAC, Mr. Oral Williams, disclosed that the center had executed 150 capacity development activities across member-countries.He added that the center had designed the work programme for the next fiscal year with the aim of delivering quantifiable results.