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N5.03tn: FG support to States since inception-Minister

The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed says the federal government has supported states with over five trillion naira since 2015 as intervention for the payment of salaries and during the covid-19 pandemic.

She said an additional $3.4billion had also been provided to states in the course of the administration.

Dr. Ahmed stated this in Abuja at the 6th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard series which featured the Ministry.

Presenting the scorecard, Dr. Zainab Ahmed expressed regret that despite the performance of the economy locally, the global economy had been impacted negatively by volatile oil and gas prices, inflation, climate change and insecurity which has led to instability in most countries of the world.

She highlighted particularly, the prediction by the World Bank that prices would further decline by middle of next year.

‘’According to the World Bank Commodity Outlook, many indices are projected to fall in the next few years as markets adjust to supply disruptions; however prices will remain above their historical trend:

‘’Energy prices are projected to decline 11% in 2023 and a further 12% in 2024 – they will still be 50% above their five-year average through 2024.

‘’Agricultural commodity prices are forecast to decline by 5% in 2023 before stabilizing in 2024 – most prices will still remain high by historical standards

Fertilizer prices are expected to fall by 12% in 2023 as new capacity, including output from the Dangote fertiliser plant, comes online’’, she noted

Aside the support to states, the Minister of finance, said some of the achievements of include; increase in non-oil sector performance, introduction of Annual Finance Acts, normalize the budget cycle from January to December and improved tax administration.

On national debt profile, the Minister allayed the fears of the people, while insisting that borrowing was at a practical and sustainable level.

She said the problem was not borrowing but how to increase revenues.

Dr. Ahmed also spoke on some of the main achievements of the ministry;

‘’The Ministry collaborated with relevant stakeholders in getting Mr. President to sign an Executive Order (Eo1) on the Ease of Doing Business, to achieve reduction of the documentation requirements from 10-7 for exports and 14-8 for import activities.

 ‘’The Ministry approved for Nigeria Export – Import (NEXIM) Bank to increase its share capital from N121 billion to N500 billion over the next five (5) years.

‘’full implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) by all MDAs, including Educational and Security Agencies – A total of 723 MDAs has been enrolled into the IPPIS with an outstanding 5 MDAs from the targeted 728 yet to be enrolled.

‘’Optimize fiscal incentives to boost productivity in critical sectors, including Agriculture, Solid Minerals and Manufacturing – The Federal Government has disbursed N528,384,778,445.70 billion and supported a total of 233,974 MSMEs.

The event which is a platform created by the ministry of information and culture on the performance of the federal government was attended by the Directors General of agencies under the ministry, including Dr. MasurLiman of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.

Reporting by Annabel Nwachukwu