By Kayode Tokede
The minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, yesterday said the nation’s economy has started moving out recession as President Muhammadu Buhari’s- led administration was bringing a lot of efficiency into government spending and infrastructure.
Speaking during a flagship programme of Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, the minister said the government in the short- term has to borrow and invest in infrastructure rather than wait for the global oil prices to recover.
According to her, the country in the past has little to show for all the oil revenues of boom years and questioned the past administrations on roads, power plants, and infrastructures constructed.
She said when global oil prices were $110, the federal government was borrowing to pay salaries but today, “Our borrowing is to invest infrastructure.
“Today we’re trying to do a lot more with lot less. That’s the summary of our agenda.If we’d invested our oil boom in the things that matters- road, rail, power- we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
She noted that the Development Bank of Nigeria(DBN) has taken off, to support small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and federal government has reviewed and repositioned the YouWiN!Connect Enterprise Programme.
The minster explained that government was blocking leakages in Customs revenue collection with huge investment in scanners, and in a long overdue Single Window system.
Adeosun said the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has identified more than 800,000 companies currently not paying taxes across the country
She said the country’s Tax-to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio was among the lowest in the world.
“Nigeria’s tax-to- GDP ratio is six per cent, one of the lowest in the world Only 214 people paying tax greater than N20million. We are working to change that.”
The minister commended President Buhari and his vice president, Yemi Osinbajo for their commitment in bringing lasting change to the masses.