By Chizoba Ogbeche
The Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Debt Management Office (DMO), have kicked against the Moody’s sovereign rating which downgrade Nigeria from a B1 stable to a B2 stable.
A joint statement by the ministry, CBN and the debt management office, yesterday in Abuja, said the rating was equivalent to “Nigeria’s existing B/Stable Outlook rating from S&P and slightly lower than Nigeria’s B+/Negative Outlook rating from Fitch.”
It read in part: “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance, CBN and DMO has been drawn to today’s announcement of the decision by Moody’s to downgrade Nigeria from a B1 stable to a B2 stable rating.
“This is equivalent to Nigeria’s existing B/Stable Outlook rating from S&P and slightly lower than Nigeria’s B+/Negative Outlook rating from Fitch.
“While we respect the right of Moody’s to make this decision, we strongly disagree with the premise and must address some of the conclusions upon which the decision rests.
The statement further said that, “At the heart of Moody’s rationale is the need for Nigeria to improve non-oil revenue aggressively. This is absolutely and directly aligned to the government’s priorities.
According to the statement: “We have seen improvements in revenue in 2017. Fiscal revenues are linked directly to both the performance of the economy and the number of tax payers contributing. As a result of the foundation that has been established in 2017, we expect similar positive trends in 2018.
“The reform is aimed at increasing private sector equity participation to improve efficiencies in the sector and also provides revenue to the Government which will be deployed solely and exclusively for creating new assets in Nigeria.”