By Franca Edmund (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has acknowledged that the federal government is exceeding its borrowing plan for 2021.
Blaming the development on the COVID-19 pandemic and fluctuations in oil prices, Ahmed in an interview with France 24, said inflation had continued to heighten, worsened by an inadequate supply of foreign exchange, adding that the problems have a lot of multiplier effects on the economy.
Continuing, the minister submitted that the fiscal space remains tight now, but that the federal government was re-planning, cutting down non-essential expenditures and providing resources where they are most needed like in the health sector.
Ahmed described as disturbing a World Bank report, which put a large portion of Nigerians under the poverty line, saying it was caused largely by the COVID-19 pandemic and fall in oil prices.
However, she said the economic sustainability plan was targeting massive recruitment, health insurance, and a review of the poverty indices, to redress the setback COVID-19.
On the revenue side, she stated that the target is to move revenue to GDP from the current 8 per cent to 15 per cent, adding that the 8 per cent is low for the size of the Nigerian economy.