As challenge of fighting recession deepens
By Nsikan Ikpe
Worried over the dwindling fortunes of the national economy and its continuing difficulty in sourcing funds to finance the 2016 budget, Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has urged the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fast-track the disbursement of the one billion dollar budget support facility it had promised the country.
The pan-African bank had recently promised to extend a billion dollar loan support facility for the 2016 budget.
The loan is expected to cover the 35 per cent shortfall in the 2016 budget.
Udoma, who made the appeal in Abuja at a meeting with an AfDB team at the weekend, thanked the bank for its support.
“I want to thank you for the support. We value the relationship with ADB and we appreciate the budget support.
We want AfDB also to fast track the loan facility. Important to note, is that AfDB is standing with us,” Udoma said according to a statement issued by the Director (Information) in his ministry, Mr. Adedeji Ajibade
Giving an overview of the government’s plan to reflate the economy and come out of recession, the minister stated that the federal government was trying to contain the militancy in the Niger Delta region which has affected oil production in the country,.
According to him, with the containment of militancy, the government was hopeful of restoring oil production to 2.2 million barrels a day, at the end of the year.
He also stated that the government was committing money into infrastructure development, processing of export zones, as well as providing loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at a single digit to support farming in Nigeria.
According to the minister, the Economic Recovery Plan was designed to consolidate and harmonise all the sectoral plans in a single document and set out in broad detail an integrated roadmap for the growth and sustainability of the country’s economy.
He noted that it was also a part of the commitment the federal government made to Nigerians, irrespective of whether there was a recession or not.
Nigeria’s National Planning Minister, Senator Udo Udoma