- … we have had to borrow more than we have planned before the COVID-19 started because we need to still continue to invest in infrastructure using our national budget
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Monday admitted that Nigeria’s economy was facing a difficulties and urged states to improve their internally generated revenues.
The Minister stated that the Federation Account Allocation for the month of March was short of ₦50bn.
Ms. Ahmed, who said this while featuring on the Nigerian Television Authority’s (NTA) Good Morning Nigeria, mentioned that the country’s economy was stabilising from the recession, which the country exited a few months ago.
In her words: “These are very difficult challenging times because revenues are low and the demand for expenditures are very high understandably because we have to keep intervening to make sure the pandemic is contained as well as the economic impact it has caused.
“In our case in Nigeria, the crash of the crude oil prices really hit us very hard in terms of revenue. We have very low revenues, we have very high expenditures. What we have done so far is just to provide some stability to make sure salaries are paid, pensions are received every month; that we send funds to the judiciary and the legislature; that we meet our debt service obligations.
“That’s what we are doing. It also means we have had to borrow more than we have planned before the COVID-19 started because we need to still continue to invest in infrastructure using our national budget. We borrowed to invest in key projects such as roads, rail, airports, seaports and several other investments that are required in health and in education and upgrading the social standards and quality of life of our people and Nigeria is not unique as several countries of the world went into recession.
“Almost every other country has had to borrow more than it planned. It means we expanded our deficit very fast in 2020. 2021 is a year that we see as the year of recovery.”
According to her, the government hopes to achieve a growth of three per cent in 2021, adding that some of the multilateral institutions are putting it at 2.5 per cent.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE