FG Earmarks $322m Abacha Loot For Social Programmes
The Federal government has promised to spend the $322.51 million Abacha loot on empowering indigent Nigerians.
Speaking with journalists in Washington DC , The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, confirmed the recovery of the sum of US$322,515,931.83 Abacha funds from the Swiss Government into a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The funds, according to her, have been earmarked for the National Social Safety Nets programme of the federal government.
"The objective of the National Social Safety Nets Project for Nigeria is to provide access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded national social safety nets system," Adeosun stated.
She also hinted that the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) has raised the tax payers' base from 13 million in 2015 to 17 million as at 2018, with more high net worth individuals being captured.
Adeosun, who led the Nigerian delegation to the 2018 IMF-World Bank Spring Meeting, also affirmed that the country's positive growth outlook would be sustained. She noted that the present growth outlook contrasted with the outlook in 2015, adding that inflation rate was slowing down while the foreign reserves were rising.
Expressing optimism on the Federal Government's sustenance of the growth trajectory, the Minister, called for vigilance and focus for the country not to fall back into recession.
She said, "we are confident that if we diligently implement our economic plan, we will grow the economy. We have room to grow but other countries do not have rooms to grow.
"By 2019, the growth will be far more robust than the present level in 2018. We are therefore very optimistic in sustaining Nigeria's economic growth. We are going to use this opportunity to grow our fiscal buffers, and particularly aggressively growing our revenue base.
"The administration has succeeded in building macroeconomic resilience for Nigeria, particularly revising the funding mix, rebuilding fiscal buffers, enhancing foreign exchange reserves and focusing on import substitution strategies."
On the nation's domestic debt, the Minister stated that the government would not aggressively grow the debt.
The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele also assured Nigerian Investors that the apex bank will do everything possible to ensure that the country's positive growth outlook is sustained.
The CBN governor spoke during a joint press briefing with the Minister of Finance, Adeosun, at the end of the 2018 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meeting in Washington DC, United States.
On the monetary front, Emefiele disclosed that the country's foreign reserves had risen to US$47.93 billion.
He reiterated Nigeria's positive growth outlook, noting that the IMF and World Bank had projected a growth of 2.5 per cent for Nigeria.
"There is need to save for the raining day and also continue to grow the foreign reserves. If we had enough reserves, we wouldn't have suffered the recession shocks," he explained.
The CBN governor assured that concerted efforts were ongoing to realise the 80 per cent target for financial inclusion by 2020.
Source: Naija News