Osinbajo Sees Major Turnaround For Nigeria’s Economy In 18 Months
Nigeria’s economy is in recession, but the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, believes there will be a major turnaround in the next 12 to 18 months.
Professor Osinbajo expressed the optimism on Tuesday at the fourth Presidential Quarterly Business Forum at the State House in Abuja.
He had in May highlighted the government's desire and commitment to revamping the economy in his Democracy Day speech.
That is one thing that Nigerians are waiting to see, as several time frames had been given for an end to the recession that the economy slipped into in the second quarter of 2016.
Achieving the turnaround, however, requires a partnership between the Federal Government and the private sector.
The Acting president believes that cordial relationship between the two would scale up the nation’s economy with over 16% inflation rate.
It was a forum with more of the participants from the private sector and the Minister of Finance was also there.
Professor Osinbajo highlighted that there were budget constraints, but he also stressed the need for Nigeria to make progress.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, told the gathering that the nation would not continue to borrow funds to finance deficit in the budget.
She said the government would rely more on revenue gotten from tax to fund the budget.
“Nigeria's Tax-to-GDP and Budget-to-GDP ratios are low, among the lowest even in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“There is no poor country that has a high Tax-to-GDP ratio and there is no rich country that has a low Tax-to-GDP ratio.
“We need to increase our budget size, but we can't depend on borrowing anymore. So, we have to improve revenues and block leakages,” she stressed.
Mrs Adeosun also reiterated the government’s commitment to reviewing tax waivers and exemptions and reforming the nation’s revenue generating agencies.
She said that Professor Osinbajo had signed an Executive Order to support the plight.
The Minister further urged major players in the private sector to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme offered by the government and do the right thing to curb leakages in the system.