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Nigeria Lauds UK's Support in Debt Management

The Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, on Friday hailed the United Kingdom for its support to Nigeria, particularly in debt management.

Mr. Sambo made the commendation when he received the reports on the partnership between the UK-Department for International Development, DFID, and the Debt Management Office, DMO, on debt management in Abuja.

The reports cover a period of 15 years of DFID support to Nigeria on Debt Management while the second report covers the 14 year-period of DFID assistance to the DMO after it was established in 2000.

Mr. Sambo described the reports as a case study of successful government to government partnership. The reports were titled, 15 Years of UK Partnership with Nigeria on Debt Management: Lessons for DFID Wider Approach to Building Capacity and 14 years of Strategic Partnership between the DFID and DMO-Nigeria.

Mr. Sambo noted the long-standing relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, particularly through the activities of DFID in the country.

"It is indeed appropriate for me to first of all, acknowledge the deep mutual understanding and support that exist between the United Kingdom and Nigeria in all spheres. The historical tie between our two countries is the underlying basis for the partnership between the DFID and the DMO which has resulted in the great strides recorded in the area of (debt) management since the commencement of the project in November, 1998," Mr. Sambo said.

The vice-president observed that the partnership was a peculiar example of how a Nigerian agency could maximise benefits from a development partner.

He also commended the staff members and management of the DMO for their remarkable achievements in the management of the nation's debt profile.

According to him, the achievements of the DMO in recent years constituted an integral part of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, noted that the collaboration between the DFID and Nigeria had been a successful journey, which had produced a first-rated agency on debt management in Africa.

The Director-General of DMO, Abraham Nwankwo, said that the report was an assessment of a strategic partnership which commenced in October, 2000 and terminated in March, 2013.

He said that the DMO with the support of DFID was able to achieve debt relief for the country, develop the country's bond market and reconstruct the debt profile.

He said it also successfully established Debt Management Departments in the 36 states and the FCT.

"Nigeria now has a comprehensive debt data base of the federal and state governments," he said.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock, said the report was a genuine Nigerian achievement and an indication of a strong UK-Nigeria partnership worth celebrating.

He noted that Nigeria was now sharing its expertise with other African countries on debt management.

The high commissioner urged continued political commitment from the country's leadership for the activities of the DMO.

A DFID Consultant, Alex Duncan, presented highlights of the report which, he said, was prepared by himself, Dora Akunyili and Menachem Katz.

(NAN)

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