Buhari Laments ‘ our economic growth plan at risk’

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, says Nigeria needs a lot of resources to actualise the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan and other development plans which, according to her, are at a risk of being underfunded.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the Nigeria Governors Forum Internally Generated Revenue Peer Learning event, she said revenue shortfalls had been experienced since 2017 when the ERGP was launched resulting in serious deviations from targeted revenue and expenditure projections.

The minister, represented by a director at the ministry, Dr Israel Igwe, said Nigeria required about $3trn over the next 30 years to “sufficiently” address its infrastructure deficit.

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She said the country needed fiscal sufficiency and buoyancy which must come through domestic revenues for it to be sustainable.

She said the performance showed the country’s inability to “efficiently” collect taxes from its non-oil economic activities.

She said: “Regarding the 2019 budget, as at 30th June, the actual aggregate revenue as per our Fiscal Accounts was N2.04 trillion, indicating a revenue shortfall of 42 percent, to underperformance of both oil and non-oil revenue targets.”
Earlier, NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, had tasked state commissioners of finance on the need to expand the revenue base.

The World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, underscored the need to boost revenue to lift people out of poverty as the role of government at federal and state level is to invest in people and infrastructure, a task he said required revenue.

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