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No plans to keep borrowing – FG

The federal government has no intention to borrow from local and foreign creditors following the removal of fuel subsidy and the harmonisation of exchange rate, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy Mr Wale Edun has said.

The minister said this Monday while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the inaugural meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Abuja.

He said government would plough back savings from subsidy removal into various sectors of the economy to boost government revenue and improve the business environment for local and foreign investments.

“Essentially, we went through an exercise of looking at where things stood regarding the economy, the growth rate, the exchange rate, inflation, unemployment and so on.

The overriding conclusion is that we are not where we should be, and we also examined the president’s eight-point agenda, that is, the eight priority areas for moving the Nigerian economy forward and for delivering to Nigerians, and those are basically food security; ending poverty, economic growth and job creation, access to capital, particularly consumer credit, inclusivity in all its dimensions, particularly as regards youths and women, improving security, improving the playing field on which people and particularly companies operate, rule of law, and of course, fighting corruption.

It is around those matrix that the plans and the targets of what will be delivered in the next three years or so were identified, discussed, and inputs were given by various ministers, and we’ll now go away with the marching order to refine further the targets in particular and within weeks to start rolling out policies and programmes to turn around the economy and make things better for all Nigerians. That really is the substance of what the discussion was all about,” he said.

In his inaugural speech, the President urged the new set of Ministers to hit the ground running by working hard to turn around the fortunes of the country.

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“We have talents; we have the level of intellectuals and capacity to turn this country around. You and I know that the expectation is high and there is a tough time right now therefore we must work hard, commit ourselves and create a buoyant economy that will serve every Nigerian,” he said.

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The President charged the ministers to work as a team, stressing that they must stay focused as they discharge their responsibilities, the country will move forward.

“Everyone of you is a member of this team, we can do whatever we want from our areas of responsibility but it all depends on you. If you stay focused, we will all arrive at a better destination and the country will be better for it,”he said.

The President said the natural endowments of the country must be properly harnessed to make life better for the citizens of the country.

“We must unlock the energy and natural resources of this country. We must start to produce for ourselves, dig ourselves out of the woods, focus on education, healthcare, and make social investments that are essential for the development of our people.

Our priority areas are defined in our economic programmes. Every area is our priority and you belong in the driver’s position to realise and make that priority a fulfilling promise to the entire nation and the continent of Africa.

We must achieve the economic growth that is expected of us. We must feed our people, we must leverage on what we have and grow more to satisfy Nigerians. It is only in your hands now,” he said.

 

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