President Buhari has finally unveiled a 10-point fiscal roadmap aimed at taking Nigeria out of economic recession.
Highlights of the economic recovery plan were rolled out by the Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
The plan was presented at the yearly dinner of the Lagos Business School.
Adeosun itemized the fiscal policies and actions being taken to tackle the key barriers to economic growth.
A major component of the recovery plan is to replace administrative measures on the list of 41 items with fiscal measures to reduce demand pressure on foreign exchange (forex) at the parallel market.
The CBN had barred importers from assessing forex, particularly the United States dollars, for the 41 items via the official window.
The monetary policy keeps generating intense controversy.
The measure pushed importers to source forex from the parallel market leading to forex shortage and devaluation of naira.
The Buhari led administration wants to reverse the policy and ease demand on dollars.
This will ramp up the naira’s value against other foreign currencies.
Adeosun said, “The Federal Government’s Fiscal Roadmap is addressing barriers to growth that will drive productivity.
“The plan will also generate jobs and broaden wealth creating opportunities to achieve inclusive growth.”
Secondly, the President plans to tackle the infrastructure deficit and unlock productivity.
The plan will likely improve business competitiveness and create employment.
Thirdly, the President wants to actively partner with the private sector to up-scale our infrastructural development.
To effect this, the FG will introduce the “Road Trust Fund”, which will develop potentially tollable roads.
The fourth plan is to partner with private sector and create the “Family Homes Fund”
The plan is that the funds, which is an on-going PPP initiative, will bankroll affordable housing for Nigerians.
Fifth, the President will review our taxing policies.
This will allow companies to receive tax relief for investment in roads on a collective basis.
The revision would allow collective tax relief such that small companies would be able to jointly fund roads projects.
Adeosun also outlined measures planned to deal with the problem of hidden liabilities, which were affecting the banks.
The minister explained that the conversion from cash accounting to IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) had unveiled unrecorded debts owed to contractors, oil marketers, exporters, electricity distribution companies and others.
These liabilities were estimated at N2.2 trillion and would be addressed with a 10-year Promissory Note Issuance program.
According to her, “Some contractors had not been paid in the past 4 years.
“In some cases the banks they were owing, refused them access to the funds released, causing delays.”
Adeosun gave assurances that, despite the current challenges facing the Nigerian economy, the outlook is positive.