As concerns on growing debts of developing countries rise, it is important for public financial managers to be conversant with debt transparency and services among other issues.
The Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, said this while making a presentation on ‘Borrowing guidelines for sub-nationals’ at a workshop by the DMO.
She said, “Public debt has become an increasingly topical subject in recent years, particularly the debts of developing countries. Concerns have been expressed about the growing levels of the public debt and the ability of the governments to service the debts (debt sustainability).
“Debt transparency has now been added to the concerns on public debt. The issues on debt transparency are non-disclosure or incomplete disclosure of debt and ‘opaqueness’ in the debt contracting process.
“It is imperative for public financial managers and debt managers to be conversant with debt and debt- related issues from negotiating/contracting, recording, servicing to debt management.”
While borrowing by countries and sub-nationals may be the subject of discourse in the public space, she said some things needed to be taken into consideration.
According to her, borrowing by governments is common practice around the world.
She said borrowing could be an effective means of bridging the gap between revenue and expenditure.
Oniha said government borrowing was a viable tool for promoting growth and development by enabling the government to access large, stable long-term funds to finance capital projects, which if implemented, would contribute to job creation, gross domestic product growth, economic diversification, higher revenues and sustainable development.