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Minister, others proffer solutions to economic recovery

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Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has stressed the need for Nigeria to sustainably address the perennial challenge of domestic revenue mobilidsation to boost investments in key sectors of the economy.

Opening a three-day capacity building workshop for special advisers and technical assistants of all serving ministers in Abuja, Ahmed listed areas that needed venture to include agriculture, infrastructure, health and education.

She observed that maximum impact could be achieved through sustained implementation of the Strategic Revenue Generation Initiative (SRGI), fiscal reforms and reduction in the cost of governance.

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The minister stated that the biggest economy in Africa must also look beyond short-term measures, and ensure that the policies and programmes of the current administration were institutionalised.

Ahmed said the Federal Government was collaborating across the board to address key cross-cutting issues, adding: “This includes working to significantly reduce poverty and harness our demographic dividend in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, partly through job creation, and by enabling the private sector and prioritising human capital development.”

She harped on re-imagining the social contract between government and the citizenry, as well as deepening the commitments for the open partnership to engender transparent governance and engagement.

The work of the advisers, according to her, was critical to the post-COVID-19 Nigerian economy, besides government’s response geared at putting in place the requisite transformation and innovation in the fiscal space to lessen the impact of the looming recession.

In his remarks, the Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria, Mrs. Birgitt Ory, who highlighted three elements of good governance to include institutions, diversity and ownership, explained: “First, institutions should be effective, reliable and transparent. This is, important for political accountability, but also for economic development. If institutions are strong and reliable, businesses will be more likely to invest. If there is one thing that private sector investors do not like, it is uncertainty. Uncertainty about investment conditions, the legal system or political stability will deter investments.

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In contrast, strong and reliable institutions contribute to stability, reliable framework conditions and enable the business.

“Strong institutions don’t only need to be efficient, they also need to be inclusive. The link between good governance and diversity is a very important one in our time In the 21 century. Diversity is a fact of life. In the age of globalisation and information technology, geographical, cultural and linguistic borders that used to separate people have become less relevant.”

Also speaking, the Resident Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Dr. Vladimir Kreck, who pointed out that good governance translates everywhere in the world into respect for the rule of law, transparency, accountability, efficiency and equity, added that it also shows when internatlised and applied by government actors, resulting in societal cohesion and economic development for the good of the people.

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