FG strategises to check slipping back into recession
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has announced initiatives to bolster spending in all tiers of the Nigerian economy as part of measures to boost growth and check the economy from sliding into another round of recession.
The initiatives include the setting up of a N700 billion minimum revenue distributable target monthly by the three tiers of governments at the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings as well as the adoption of new and viable sources of income generation to enhance receipts and spending at all tiers of government.
At the moment, distributable revenue monthly at FAAC oscillates on the average between N400 billion and N500 billion covering allocations to the three tiers as well as statutory transfers to entities.
Osinbajo, yesterday in Abuja explained that the minimum monthly revenue had become imperative to enable the three tiers of governments meet up with obligations of salaries, statutory transfers and debt services.He gave the charge at the opening session of a two-day national workshop on alternative sources of revenue generation.for sustainable development in states and local councils in Nigeria organized by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Represented by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Vice President said the huge fund required to run the programmes of government had made it imperative to find alternative sources of revenue, adding that the development explains the need to diversify the revenue base of the country because of the conviction that the oil sector is prone to a lot of vulnerabilities.
He said the tight fiscal condition which the country is currently passing through has affected cash flow position leading to a situation where state governments were unable to pay salaries and meet other financial obligations.
He said the Federal Government is currently assisting states to implement series of reforms with a view to enhancing fiscal prudence and transparency in public expenditure.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday injected $250 million into the inter-bank foreign exchange market.The Banks Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said the wholesale sector was offered $100 million, just as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) window received a boost of $80 million. Those requiring foreign exchange to address needs such as Business/Personal Travel Allowances, school tuition, medicals, etc. were allotted $70 million.
He reiterated that the interventions had ensured stability in the market, even as he stressed that the CBN remained committed to maintaining transparency in the market. According to him, CBN had taken measures to check the activities of speculators and shield the currency from attacks, while also maintaining the international value of the naira.