FG set to recover N614bn loan from 35 states – Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed said Thursday the federal government has resolved to recover N614 billion loan facility from 35 states of the federation.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the monthly National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osnbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the minister said the affected states received N17.5 billion each as bailout funds.

She said the National Economic Council had agreed to constitute a team with representatives from the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to finalize modalities for the commencement of repayment of the loan.

“The Minister of Finance briefed NEC on the progress of the facilitate detailing how the federal government has made a total of over N614 billion available to 35 States being N17.5 billion each.
“Council agreed to constitute a team from the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet with the CBN and Ministry of Finance to finalize modalities for commencement of payment,’’ she said.

The minister said she briefed the Council on the activities of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Excess Crude Account (ECA) and other special accounts of the federation, saying the committee requested for extension of time to finalise and present its report during next meeting of the council meeting.

The minister also made presentation on the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Medium Term Strategy Paper of the federal government.She said the presentation was to get inputs and recommendations from the National Economic Council on the programmes for presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval and implementation. 

“Nigeria macroeconomic environment has stabilized in recovering gradually. There has been eight successive month of economic growth since emerging from recession.
“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), remains the basis for the Medium Term fiscal strategy. The draft 2020–2022 Medium Term Fiscal framework indicates that Nigeria faces significant medium term fiscal challenges especially with respect to revenue generation. Therefore there is need to improve revenue collections and expenditure management,’’ she said.

The minister also spoke on successes recorded, saying macro-economic stability has been achieved with growth in end Q3 2019 at 3.01per cent.
She said there was a continued increase in Real GDP from 1.89% in Q2018 to 2.01% in 2019 and a significant growth in the nation’s non-oil sector.
The minister said the contribution of the non-oil sector to GDP has increased from 90.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 to 90.9 per cent in first quarter of 2019.
She said inflation has been declining since 2017 from 18.72 per cent to 11.08 per cent in July 2019 while unemployment rate stands at 20.1bper cent at third quarter of 2018.

The minister stressed the need for more diversification to boost inclusive growth, stressing that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to employment generation in this second term.

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