The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, has emphasised the need for Nigeria to take advantage of cheap concessionary loans, and climate financing to raise revenue to fund the 2024 Budget.
Edun stated this on Tuesday in his speech during a one-day retreat on the 2024 Appropriation Bill organised by the Senate Committee on Appropriation, in Abuja.
The theme of the retreat was “Budget and Budgetary Process: Improved Outcomes in 2024.”
Edun said: “Nigeria’s fiscal space is exhausted, we have to focus on the concessional funding, the cheaper funding, even free funding and climate financing is the way.
“Our 2024 proposed budget states clearly that there is room for privatisation, maximizing our own assets without borrowing.
“We have to be brave, courageous and innovative to make sure that we use the financial market to take our fiscal stress down so as to reduce our debt servicing and reduce our emphasis on borrowing.
“One of the ways available is that there are now countries and organisations willing to invest in our economy more than ever before.
“We need to optmise the resources we have particularly oil resources. The world is turning to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
“Hence a few days ago, the President launched an initiative of electric vehicles. Major manufacturers of electric vehicles expressed interest and started discussions with us on their determination to establish electric vehicles plant in Nigeria.
“Such is the opportunity for our market here and such is the attraction the new innovation has attracted to us as a nation.
Just yesterday (Monday), the UAE announced $30billion for climate action. Another $1.5billion was announced by another global group.
“What that means is that as we move to fund the N27.5 trillion budget next year, our first port of call must be to target the cheapest concessionary financing including the climate change financing.
“At the meeting we just concluded in Dubai, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director said the world is still suffering the shocks of major global incidences like the COVID-19 and that the fiscal space is exhausted. Nigeria fiscal space is exhausted and the solution is that we have to focus on concessioning funding and climate financing.
“There is an estimated $1trillion per annum to be spent for climate change.
However, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akapbio, in his remarks said that Nigeria would not achieve much, unless the country increased its revenue.
“No matter how beautiful the budget is, if there is no money to spend, the budget will not work.
“Let’s get up and block the loopholes of leakages and wastages and then bring more revenue so that the 2024 budget becomes realistic,” Akpabio said.
He called for aggressive revenue drive saying “all revenue generating agencies must rise to the occasion. No matter how beautiful the budget is, it will not work if there is no money to spend.
“My message is that all the GOEs must gear up to raise more revenues, block all the loopholes, leakages and wastages so that the 2024 budget would be successfully implemented.
“The Senate and the House of Representatives are very determined to pass the budget before the end of this year to continue with the tradition of the January to December budget cycle.
“It however depended on the attitudes of the ministers and the MDAs to the budget defence sessions which will start immediately.
“I will urge the ministers to take the exercise very seriously by bringing all the heads of agencies under their supervision while coming to the National Assembly.”
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