Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FG finally addressing economic challenges - Adeosun

The federal government said it is finally addressing some of the most stubborn problems that are frustrating the nation’s economic growth, by addressing the challenge of infrastructure deficit in the country and focusing on revenue drive.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said the current administration is targeting its spending on projects that would unlock the economic potential of the country while also diversifying the economy away from oil.

Adeosun made the remarks when she received a delegation of international investors from London, South Africa and United States of America with some of their Nigerian counterparts who were at the ministry to discuss investment opportunities in the country. 

The minister, who described the level of interest from foreign investors in the Nigerian economy as huge, added that very soon, the interests would translate to massive investments that would create jobs and

In her words, “It’s a great time for investors to be in Nigeria. For us, it’s a better time now than last year because, finally, we think that we are beginning to address through deliberate policies some of the most stubborn problems that have held back Nigeria’s growth.”

She said macro and micro indications on the Nigerian economy are now much positive and they are looking better.

“The narrative we have been adopting of reliance on oil is now changing, allowing us to reduce some of our fiscal buffers.”

Adeosun explained that “our budget is predicated on lower oil price, and for me, we are focusing on revenue because we think that is the missing part of the Nigeria jigsaw. We also want to increase our tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio from six percent to an initial target of 10percent and the long-term goal is to be around the 15 to 20 percent range.

“Our commitment to solving the problem of the Nigerian economy is a very firm one. It will unlock the potentials in Agric and other in fractures. Companies are now coming to us to unlock the potentials of our economy”.

She said the huge amount that the Federal Government was spending on infrastructure projects across the country was attracting fresh investments into the country.

“Government invested N1.3 trillion on infrastructure in 2016 to develop roads, rail, power, housing, and all the infrastructure government thinks would be needed to unlock this huge economy.  Hopefully, the figure would be around the same for 2017 and 2018,” Adeosun said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance Capital, Mr. Temi Popoola, who led the group on the courtesy visit said the investors were in the minister’s office to get first-hand experiences about the situation in Nigerian.

The delegation which included a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, said over the years, there is a lot of optimism in the Nigerian economy, which they said if well tapped, could unlock its potentials.

Usman gave some of the sectors where the investors were interested in to include power, manufacturing, agriculture and solid minerals, among others.

 

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