FG’s stimulus package will reduce envisaged recession – Minister

Hajiya-Zainab-Ahmed: Minister of Finance

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, says the Federal Government Economic Stimulus package will reduce the envisaged recession due to the effects of COVID-19.

She said this during a defence session in Abuja on Monday held by the Senate Committee on Finance.

The session was held with heads of Nigeria’s revenue generating agencies on the revised 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Specifically on the likelihood of recession, Ahmed said that very clearly the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had been reduced because of the economic crisis that the nation found itself.

The ministerhowever said that Nigeria was not alone in this crisis.

“The global economy is predicted to be also slipping into recession. What we are hoping to do by our own collective efforts – the Executive and the National Assembly, is that we minimise how far we go into recession.

“National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has made an assessment that we will go into recession to the level of four per cent.

“So, some of the work that the executive is doing is preparing a stimulus package as remedy, so that if it happens may be we are going into 0.5 per cent or 1 per cent but not going much lower.

“That is our unfortunate reality and the reality of the global economy,” the minister said.

The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Solomon Adeola, said that some of the new proposals may not be adopted as requested.

“Having listened with rapt attention to all presentations made by the Minister of Budget and National Planning and the questions asked regarding the MTEF and FSP, I believe that members of the Committee are satisfied with reasons being offered by the minister on why we have to go this direction at this point in time.

“But Honourable Minister, we are still waiting for that Economic Stimulus grand document by the committee headed by the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because what that document intends to do is to keep the economy going aftermath of COVID-19.

“Secondly, all related documents which we have requested as a committee ranging from the special accounts to the deficit document as explained by the DG Budget Office, it is expected that the documents get to us in no distant future,’’ Adeola said.