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Highlights of the Sectoral Presentation & Question & Answer Session Between House of Reps. & Ministers of Finance, Budget & Economic Planning, CBN Gov. & FIRS Chairman.

Highlights of the Sectoral Presentation & Question & Answer Session Between House of Reps. & Ministers of Finance, Budget & Economic Planning, CBN Gov. & FIRS Chairman.

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Finance Minister Olawale Edun

– Where Nigeria is economically is far much better than where it was on May 29, 2023.
– The country at that time had expenditure that was wasteful and unsustainable.
-In turning back from that road, there will be dust.
– Bold measures have been taken by President Tinubu and the gains will soon manifest.
-There is now a reduction in consumption of petrol by about 20 million litres.
-Government is confronting pipeline vandalism and oil production is rising. We now do 1.65 million barrels per day.
– More palliatives and more succour are coming to augment the rising cost of living.
– We are looking inward and focusing on domestic resource mobilization.
-Government has also brought budget deficit down. We are turning the corner.

Minister of Budget Senator Atiku Bagudu

-The ministry has a mandate for budget and for national planning
– We are tasked with ensuring how best the fundamental objective of state policy can target and achieve the goal of optimal dvelopment.
-FG delivered a budget that now has capital expenditure that outweighs recurrent expenditure.
-We have a capital expenditure of 39% of the budget.
-There is also a marked increase in budgets for infrastructure, health and education which are the enablers of growth.
-There are many provisions in the budget to support agriculture. Agric funding has increased. More funding for small scale farmers so they can do better as individuals and also contribute better to national productivity.
-The coodinating mechanism put in place under Minister of Finance gives confidence that we will deliver on the 2024 budget.
– We will overcome the challenges of the moment and come up with economic growth that will carry everyone along.

CBN Governor Olayemi Cardozo

-Positive outcomes are emerging.
-Recent reports from international rating agencies like Moody, etc rate us from stable to positive.
-This is due to the reform efforts.
-For instance, the volume of transactions done at the stock exchange on Monday, February 5, 2023 is $844million. This was at the close of work yesterday (Monday).
-NNPC has commenced the process of opening account with CBN in line with Mr President’s directive that the NNPC move crude oil sale proceeds to CBN.
-There is harmonisation between the Ministry of Finance and CBN.
-We have joint committees that meet on a regular basis that looks at issues and harmonise them.
-On the board of CBN we have representatives from the fiscal side.
-The main problem with exchange rate is liquidity. The distortion over time has created the problem and the distortion is being corrected. Those who left because of that situation are coming back.
-Portfolio investors are returning.
-There is nothing political in the movement of some CBN departments like banking supervision department to Lagos.
-We didn’t change any plan. It has always been like that to ease banking supervision. Most of thr banks are based in Lagos. It works well for supervision if our officials are there with them and close to them and close to those the banks interact with. It’s for administrative convenience. It’salso cheaper for the CBN
-This is also important because we are where there is a need for banking surveillance.
-CBN is not reluctant to wield the big stick on banks that fail to comply with the rules. There is a process. Once an infraction is brought to our attention, we will deal with it. That department is even being strengthened.

FIRS Chairman Zaccheus Adedeji

-FIRS is a revenue collecting agency, not revenue generating agency.
-Last year, FIRS target was N10trillion. We achieved N12.3 trillion. This was brought about by the bold vision of President Tinubu and the work of Ministry of Finance, CBN and others.
-We are working on bringing more people into the tax net, without introducing new taxes.
-We want to create a one-stop shop for tax collection and we are developing our officers and working with technology.
-The outcome of the syncronised process between our workers and technology will allow us achieve and surpass revenue target.

The session was held on the floor of the House of Representatives and was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Benjamin Kalu.

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