Proceeds from sale of national assets to fund 2016 budget — FG

IFEANYI ONUBA

The Federal Government, on Saturday, said the
proceeds from the sale of some of the country’s
national assets would be used to fund the
expenditure of government as contained in the
2016 budget.

It said while the government had mapped out key
infrastructural projects that would support its
economic diversification agenda, the shortfall in
revenue had made it difficult for these projects to
be executed.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning,
Senator Udo Udoma who stated this in a statement
issued by his Media Adviser, Mr. Akpandem
James, explained that the government had lost
almost half of its expected revenue this year.

The minister explained that the unfortunate
scenario was what prompted the Economic
Management Team to urgently work out a fiscal
stimulus plan to generate large funds to be
injected into the economy.
The funds, he noted,would be injected through
proceeds of asset sales, advance payment for
license rounds, infrastructure concessioning, use
of recovered funds, among others, to reduce the
funding gap.
He said the primary objective of government’s
fiscal stimulus plan was not to sell off all major
critical national assets, but to source immediate
funds to reflate the economy to the path of
recovery.
The minister explained that while the government
would have sourced for additional loans, beyond
the level of borrowing already projected for in the
2016 budge, this would not be a wise option as it
would raise the level of debt service to an
unsustainable level.
He explained however, that government was
exploring several angles in the asset sales
proposal such as the repurchase option, which will
make provision for buy-back of those assets when
the situation improves.
Udoma maintained that the country’s economy
would not have gone into recession but for the
drastic fall in oil production levels due to
disruptions caused by militant activities.
At worst, he pointed out that it would have been a
flat performance that would have sign-posted a
new curve in the economy trajectory that would
subsequently put it on the path to recovery and
sustainable growth.
He said, “With more patronage, Nigerian producers
will be encouraged to improve the quality of their
products. As the quality of Nigerian-made goods
and services improve, international demand for
them will increase.
“The fastest route to grow the economy and to
create jobs for the teeming population is by
pursuing export-led growth. Export-led growth will
add to the country’s foreign reserves and stabilise
the naira.”

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