The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has assured the nation that the economy is on path of steady groeth.
Ahmed , who disclosed this at the combined convocation ceremonies of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU),Ogun State after she was conferred with an honorary degree alongside two prominent Nigeria, Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and Major General Sansdeen Awosanya (retd) also noted that the Buhari administration has set a record particularly with the passage of the 2020 appropriation Bill .
The finance minister, while responding on behalf of the two honorary awardees, said some of the early results of the ongoing reforms and initiatives include the fastest passage of the annual budget thereby returning the country to January to December fiscal year, adding ‘’something we have not experienced in over 20 years.’’
She recalled that the Nigerian economy went into recession in 2016, in response, the Buhari administration through the ministry developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), a medium-term economic development.
The minister said the main focus of the plan was to get the economic back on the path of inclusive and sustainable growth, adding ‘’one key result of this timely response was that we exited recession by 2017, a very rare feat and the economy has been on a steady growth right up to the end of the president’s first term in office.’’
According to her, at the beginning of the second term of Buhari’s administration, a number of priorities were identified to boost the economy which includes build a thriving and sustainable economy, enlarge agriculture output for food security and exports, attain energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products.
Others are expanding transport other infrastructure development, expand business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialisation, expand access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity, enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty, build system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion and improve security for all.
She said amongst the challenges being addressed by the ministry of finance, budget and national planning is the perennial revenue shortfalls, stating ‘’we have developed the strategic revenue growth initiative (SRGI) which has three areas such as to achieve sustainability in revenue generation, identify new and enhance the enforcement of existing revenue systems and achieve cohesion in the revenue ecosystem.
‘’The overall aims and aspirations of the SRGI are to improve government revenue generation. It is expected that this initiative will help the government to increase its revenues by exploring new revenue streams, especially from non-oil sources. It will also help us to reduce the cost of governance and block leakage, ‘’ Ahmed explained.