Uche Usim, Abuja
For quicker economic development, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Tuesday called for more technical and institutional support from the Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center West 2 (AFRITAC West 2) for West African countries.
Adeosun made the call while declaring open the sixth Steering Committee meeting of the IMF –AFRITAC West 2 in Abuja, which 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.
Delegates from Ghana, Cape Verde, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria also attended the Steering Committee meeting.
The Minister stated that the provision of more technical and institutional support for West African countries would impact significantly on the capacity development within the region.
“The ability to mobilise resources and build institutions with the capabilities to allocate them effectively, is the foundation of a strong economic management engine,” Adeosun said.
“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.”
The Minister assured that the Nigerian 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 single resource.
The Government, she disclosed, was mobilising 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.
Adeosun urged member-countries of the West African 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.