The Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has set out government’s plan to reset Nigeria’s economy with structured borrowing, targeted investment and diversified growth. Speaking at a special event hosted by the Lagos Business School, she said: “We have inherited a set of conditions that requires us to refine how we collectively work towards ushering in a new era in Nigeria.”
According to her, government has spent too many years tinkering at the edges of her institutions, infrastructure and our economy and that the mistakes and misjudgments of the last 40 years have set the clocks back by decades.
Setting out the government’s blueprint for growth, Adeosun said: “We must collectively adopt a blueprint that equips the future generations to be creative and dynamic, that allows us to articulate a vision of a Nigeria, with a strong educational foundation; rich in depth of knowledge with a breadth of skills, an expansive infrastructure capable of servicing the needs of Nigerians”.
She described it as an “expansionary budget for investment and growth. We must find the money, and create a system that enables targeted expenditure, based on the nation’s priorities. This expenditure will be efficient and impactful, focused on creating wealth for the majority.”
Outlining N1.8trillion in borrowing to invest in the priorities of Transport, Roads, Housing, Power and Health, the Minister said: “We are committed to a countercyclical budget expenditure model. This has been a success in other nations, offsetting the risk of recession and creating an economy which is not based on either fragile consumer spending or over-reliance on oil.”
The Minister used her presentation to set out the four pillars of the economic plan which include to stimulate economic growth to achieve a real Gross Domestic Product growth of 4.2% in 2017; reduce the cost of governance and strengthen institutions to combat corruption extract efficiencies in public service; increase government expenditure on infrastructure and fund the budget deficit and negative trade balance cost effectively.
She said the targeted outcomes included substantial increase in gross capital formation; acceleration of GDP growth and infrastructure development to unlock economic growth.
However, the Minister warned those thinking the borrowing would open the door to renewed fiscal indiscipline that she planned to continue her “aggressive programme of fiscal housekeeping”.