Nigeria’s Finance Minister Zainab Ahmad on Thursday said the country’s debt can still be sustainable once it rolls out its infrastructures and the economy starts growing.
“Nigeria’s debt is still very much within sustainable limits,” Ahmad at the maiden edition of State House Briefing held at the Aso Rock Villa.
” We need to roll out infrastructure now, and grow the economy now, not later.”
She insisted Nigeria exiting recession faster than expected despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was due to the fiscal and monetary policies and the Economic Sustainability Plan.
Ahmed note that the country was on its way to “restoring consistent and stable growth.”
While explaining that the 2020 spending plan had 97% performance rate, Ahmed said government-owned non-performing assets will be sold. She, however, noted that selling assets is not to primarily to fund the budget.
“Every year we have provisions for sale of FGN Assets. 2021 not different,” she said.
“There’s a Bureau of Public Enterprise workplan for this. Assets that are dead or non-performing will be sold to credible investors who can revive them. Asset sales are not primarily for budget financing.”
President Muhammadu Buhari administration a week ago sought the National Assembly approval for the sale of national assets largely to finance the N13.58 trillion 2021 budget, PremiumTimes reported.
At least 36 government assets were listed in the executive document titled “NCP Approved 2021 Work Plan.”
The document shows the names of the “projects” (as described by the document), the sale strategy, the duration of the process as well as the cost of the properties.
These properties cut across energy, industries, communication, and infrastructural sectors and are expected to be sold or concessioned between January 2021 and November 2022, the news platform reported.
Some of the properties include the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Abuja International Conference Centre (ICC), some unnamed refineries, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Abuja Water Board, Nigerian Film Corporation, among others.
But the minister stated that the asset sales are not primarily for budget financing but also to grow the country’s revenue.