MINISTER AFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES TO CUSHION EFFECT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON ECONOMY

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements

SHARE THIS

Advertisements

–Pix (above): Dr Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Hon Minister of Finance, Budget and National Panning

Advertisements

The Honourable Minister for Finance , Budget and National Planning, Dr Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has affirmed the commitment of relevant stakeholders to grow Nigerian economy  despite the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and the dwindling revenue from oil.

Advertisements


The Honourable Minister who was represented by the Honourable Minister of   State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem  Agba,  made this position known during a three-day  Fourth National Workshop themed: COVID-19 and the Global Economy: Implications on the  Nigerian National Treasury, which took place at Ibom Hall, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

“We have on ground, strategies geared towards  the  expansion of  Government’s activities to cushion the effect of the pandemic with the   estimated stimulus package made available by the  Federal Government of Nigeria in  the tune of 2.3 trillion,” she revealed.

 The Honourable Minister, while speaking, lauded the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, and members of the State Executive Council for   accepting to host the 4th National Treasury Workshop in the State, noting that the theme of the workshop was very apt and  has effectively captured the mood of the nation, given the dwindling revenue profile of the country and the attendant challenges in the cash flow occasioned by the COVID 19 Pandemic.

“knowing the enormity of the challenges posed by the pandemic, therefore calls for prudent management of whatever fund that is available in the most accountable , efficient and transparent manner,” she noted, stressing: “We must devise better, more effective and robust administrative mechanisms that will update and enlighten our various principals about the reality staring us in the face which is paucity of funds and how to resolve the revenue

challenges.”

The Minister also assured that in spite of the impact of COVID-19 and the dwindling revenue from oil, there is, on ground, enormous strategies with capacity to help in the    continuous expansion of Government activities to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

She emphasized: “These packages consisted, to a large extent, of a combination of fiscal and monetary policies, sectoral interventions, and social programmes, just as the fiscal and monetary policies were support to States, businesses, households, and individuals through grants, tax, relief, payroll support, tariff reduction and direct support to the health sector. We also take steps to increase our non-oil revenue generation.

“These steps included but not limited to VAT reforms in Finance Act 2020, maintaining the increase in VAT rate to.7.5%, Customs Administration Enhancement , tax incentives and exemptions, increased remittances, and recovery of unremitted revenues from cross- border  business transactions, unlocked value from FG assets that were lying idle or under utilized,” she further said.

Speaking in a similar vein, the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, FCNA, called on managers of the country’s economy, economic experts at large, to come up with strategies and practices that could be deployed in the effective management of inevitable financial challenges, such as that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He maintained that the reality of the pains inflicted on the Nigerian economy and the national treasury by the pandemic has made it overtly imperative to fashion out ways to effectively manage the economy during pandemics and handle any pandemic-induced financial challenges.

Idris tasked the economic experts and government officials to come up with viable ideas that will, among other things, help the country withstand financial   shock caused by any pandemic, whatsoever, and also help control aggregate cash flows within fiscal,  monetary and legal limits, to improve the management of critical government borrowings.

He stressed the imperative for the evolution of strategies and approaches with capacity to help establish and sustain the consciousness of and accountability for public expenditure, efficient budget execution and resource allocation as well as effective public service delivery that accords value for money at all times.

In his address, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel,  thanked the Accountant General of the Federation , Ahmed Idris , and his entire team for bringing the Fourth National Treasury Workshop to the State, saying:   “Let me also , specifically welcome the Honourable Minister of Finance, Dr Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to our state. It is assuring and proactive in context and breath, the desire of the organizers of this workshop, as part of the global financial architecture , to look into ways and means of positioning the Nigerian economy in the post COVID-19 era: the implications for our growth and development, which essentially, forms the theme of the workshop.”

Governor Udom who was very optimistic of the success of the workshop maintained that the workshop is very timely and will help to fast tract the economic recovery process of the Federal Government.

“Yes, you may ask why I’m saying this? Well, in May last year, in the thick of COVID-19 pandemic, when the world, as we knew it, was  shut down , and the future of the world Economy was in dire straits, it became exceedingly imperative that we came up with new approaches to growing our economy and adapt new ways of engagements in line with the realities brought upon us by the pandemic.

The workshop also witnessed arrays of Goodwill Messages from Government functionaries and stakeholders in global economic reformation sector.

Highpoints of the workshop were paper presentations by seasoned scholars, as well as communique presentation./SHARE THIS

  • Courtesy: Henshaw Ogubike, Director, Information, Press & Public Relations

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *