19 August 2016
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeousn, said on Friday in Abuja that the Federal Government was set to release N60 billion for capital projects to stimulate the economy.
Adeosun said the disbursement would raise funds already released by the government to N400 billion since May.
She said that contractors had been paid to return to work, adding that very soon Nigerians would begin to see the impact of the administration’s efforts and policies.
“So far we have spent N400 billion on capital, that is between May when the budget was signed and now; we are going for another capital allocation meeting where we are going to allocate another N60 billion.
“So, we are pumping money into the economy at a very rapid rate, but it would take a little time for the effect to be felt,’’ she said.
Adeosun disclosed that the administration was encouraged by some results it was getting.
According to her, states known for agriculture are going back to it and generating revenue from it.
She expressed optimism of bumper harvest of crops, and said that storage facilities like silos, were being put in place to avoid loss of any harvest.
The minister also said that for Nigeria to survive present economic situation, corruption had to be fought holistically and that infrastructure had to be built to create employment.
“Fighting corruption is fundamental and if we stick with that and all the money stolen or diverted is directed at projects that could grow the economy, we would recover,’’ she said.
She said that a tax committee had been inaugurated to overhaul the entire tax system in the country.
She, however, explained that the intention to tax luxury items was not a policy because there was no constitutional provision to tax the items.
Adeosun assured that the committee would seek ways to ensure that the right laws were put in place in that regard.
She said that the Joint Tax Board (JTB) was working to harmonise taxes that were overlapping among federal, states and local governments.
“It is part of the ease of doing business initiative because these are some of the things that cause businesses to close down.
“It puts one off and even in the Federal Government, we are working on various revenues and looking at who is the best agent to collect revenue.’’
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, said that the media were very important tools to drive democracy and that partnership with them had made governance easier.
He also said that the media played a significant role in the Nigerian economy by interpreting government policies to the people and educating the public.
Isa-Dutse, however, advised the media to be positive in its reportage of the nation’s economy.