By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed says the Federal Government has resolved to recover N614 billion loan facility from 35 states of the federation.
The minister revealed this when she briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House, Abuja.
Ahmed said each of the affected 35 states received N17.5billion as bail out from the Federal Government.
She said that already the Council had agreed to constitute a team to finalise modalities for commencement of repayment of the loan facility.
The team according to her would be constituted from the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ministry of Finance
“The Minister of Finance briefed NEC on the progress of the facilitate detailing how the Federal Government has made a total of over N614 billion available to 35 States being N17.5 billion each.
“Council agreed to constitute a team from the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet with the CBN and Ministry of Finance to finalise modalities for commencement of payment,’’ she said.
The minister further revealed that she updated the Council on the activities of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Excess Crude Account (ECA) and other special accounts of the federation.
She said the Committee requested for extension of time to finalise and present its report during next meeting of the Council.
Ahmed also made presentation on the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Medium Term Strategy Paper,
She said that the presentation was to get inputs and recommendation from the Council for further presentation to Federal Executive Council for approval and implementation.
She underscored the importance of the presentation as follows: “Nigeria macroeconomic environment has stabilised in recovering gradually.
“There has been eight successive month of economic growth since emerging from recession.
‘`The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), remains the basis for the Medium Term fiscal strategy.
“The draft 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Fiscal framework indicates that Nigeria faces significant medium term fiscal challenges especially with respect to revenue generation.
“Therefore there is need to improve revenue collections and expenditure management,’’ she said.
The minister also highlighted successes recorded as follows: “Macro-economic stability has been achieved with growth in end Q3 2019 at 3.01per cent.
“Continued increased in Real GDP from 1.89% in Q2018 to 2.01 per cent in 2019.’’
She also told the Council that there had been significant growth in the nation’s non-oil sector.
Ahmed noted that contribution of the non-oil sector to GDP had increased by 90.4per cent in the first quarter of 2018 to 90.9per cent in first quarter of 2019.
The minister noted that inflation had continually declined since 2017 from 18.72per cent to 11.08per cent in July 2019 while unemployment rate at 20.1per cent at third quarter of 2018.
She, however, stressed the need for more diversification to boost inclusive growth,adding that the Buhari administration “is strongly committed to employment generation in this second term.’’
On the nine billion dollars London Court judgement against Nigeria, the minister said the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had assured that Nigeria would appeal against the judgment.(NAN)