By Nwafor Sunday
The Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, yesterday spoke live on her Facebook page about few things that has happened within the Ministry and initiatives introduced to boost the Nigerian economy.
The essences of the live video on Facebook she said was to unravel the state of the economy to Nigerians who have the right to know about the happenings in the economy.
Her appearance on facebook yesterday attracted questions and answers from people who are eager to know the ministry’s achievements and the state of economy.
Read her opines:
“The ministry has been fairy busy since last year or so, believe me it is a difficult time for the country” Our main source of revenue really eroded, creating a very painful adjustment into the economy which we are working through.’ But the good news is that we are working through the issues one by one and we are trying to ensure as we rebuild the economy, we get away from the booming base of the past’.
Furthermore, she said that when the price of a commodity sold in Nigeria is high, it’s quite a miserable moment to be a Nigerian. “So we are working assiduously to building an economy when price is high or low, there will be a sustainable growth for all Nigerians. To do that we need to adopt a change of focus, invest in infrastructure that is needed to get the Nigeria economy going” she said.
Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, also said investing in infrastructure will break barriers Nigerians are facing in their businesses. “Nigerians have various barriers in growing their businesses such as; provision of good water, great road, power generation and having a good transport network.”
“What the government is doing is to adjust those barriers that is holding us back, get those infrastructures in place so that businesses can thrive”. We are trying to change their paradigm for Nigeria businesses to be competitive, so that they can create jobs and enabling environment for everybody”.
Similarly, Nigeria has no enough money to place her infrastructure the way she wants it. In other words, she needs to borrow money to invest, Kemi said. “Since Nigeria has poor road network, one of our initiatives is to help and build a good rail way that will link all the South East zones and give them all they need to improve their businesses”. This is going to cost over trillion Naira, perhaps a huge sum of money and needs to be borrowed either from China or any con-sectional lenders and other countries that has good international relationship with Nigeria. “Nigeria has not borrowed internationally since 2013 and the need to borrow is here to implement her important infrastructure and enabling environment for her citizen”.
“Our second initiative is the whistle blower, which the president approved. It is all about recovering the money, its about deterrents. When money got missing people know about it. ‘It is either they are afraid to talk. The good thing about the whistle blower is that if any one knows what am doing, and finds out am not doing it right, she blows the whistle, perhaps will get me back to track” This will make people stop and think of what they are doing (evaluation). We have a unit here that are full time on the whistle blower work. They go out to investigate some tips we receive and recover, example, siphoned government money,misapplied government fund, stolen money in wheels, diversion of money and stolen money in freezes.”
“Development Bank of Nigeria is a very interesting initiative flagged off last week with license. It is very important for the SME’s. SME’s is very important because the majority of jobless Nigerians depend on the SME’s for their various businesses. They get loans from Micro finance bank which CBN lend to those micro finance banks. This will make the conditions for accessing funds easy for business people” she said.
“Finally, the last initiative is the efficiency in cutting the cost of the government, discount from airlines, restricting what people can spend like launch and other things that can be wasted, we ensure we cut them.” ‘However, we have removed dead people from payroll, even forgery persons have been removed from payroll. This is to make sure that the money available is used judiciously to implement the necessary thing and important project we have at hand. Another, to make sure that projects we need to fund, there is money to fund them”. she said.