The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, today called for more technical and institutional support from the Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centre West 2 (AFRITAC West 2) for West African countries.
The minister, who made the call while declaring open the sixth Steering Committee meeting of the IMF –AFRITAC West 2 in Abuja, noted that the provision of more technical and institutional support for West African countries would impact significantly on the capacity development within the region.
She said: “The ability to mobilise resources and build institutions with the capabilities to allocate them effectively, is the foundation of a strong economic management engine. 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 independent manage their economies to effectively deliver on critical development imperatives”, Adeosun added.
The Minister assured that the Federal Government was committed to the diversification of the economy from over reliance on oil, adding that the economy would be shielded from the negative effects of dependence on a singular resource.
According to her, government is also exploring the option of mobilising domestic revenue through taxes to improve the economy and foster economic development.
The minister clarified further: “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 added.
Adeosun urged member-countries of the West African region to collaborate with AFRITAC to strengthen country ownership of the various capacity development interventions.
In his remarks, the Coordinator of AFRITAC, Mr. Oral Williams, disclosed that the Centre had executed 150 capacity development activities across member-countries and also designed the work programme for the next fiscal year with the aim of delivering quantifiable results.
The Steering Committee meeting was attended by the Senior Resident Representative of the IMF in Nigeria, Mr. Amine Mati; AFRITAC West 2 Coordinator, Mr. Oral Williams; Director-General of Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, and Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Babatunde Fowler.
Also, delegates from Ghana, Cape Verde, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria also attended.