Paschal Emeka, Abuja
Minister of finance Dr. Kemi Adeosun has appealed to the media to spread message of hope to Nigerians in the face of harsh economic realities in the country.
Speaking during an interactive forum with journalists in Abuja, the minister said that what successive governments has done in the past is to keep pushing the nation’s problems to the present administration.
The minister stated a lot of work is going on in the economy but as a result of past mistakes it will take time to see the effects.
She added that the present administration is working hard to ensure Nigeria overcome the economic difficulties in the shortest possible time.
“We are working to develop the economy, and unleash the entrepreneur spirits of Nigerians. In the past government employs ten drivers without vehicles. We want to stop that and invest infrastructures. Nigerians must imbibe economic patriotism. Tough decisions impact on people negatively on the short term,” she said.
She further said that this is the period of taking positive challenges that would enable the country actualize her potentials.
The minister revealed that the Buhari led government has released N400 billion for capital expenditure between May 2016 when the budget was signed into law and August 2016. She assured that another N60 billion will soon be released for capital expenditure.
“We are pumping money, but it may not be fast because of procurement process. The effect may not be felt because contractors were not paid since 2012. Overhang of debt has really slowed us down.”
She informed that the fiscal policies of this adminstration were hinged on economic diversification and investment on infrastructures to stimulate the economy.
The minister hinted that the government will soon come up with holistic policy on tax and import waivers.
Speaking further she said that fighting corruption is fundamental to the government as well as cutting excesses in recurrent expenditure.
“Salary bill is N165 billion monthly. If we clean the wage bill and don’t allow new people to be enter is key to recovery.
On how the country can recover from recession she said; “recovery is a process. We expect bumper harvest. Our silos are there to ensure the harvest is not wasted. We are trying to clear N65 billion fertilizer arrears. Activities are going on to bring down food prices. All the changes we are putting in place are permanent.