Home » Economic Reforms: We’ll Work To Ease Nigerians’ Pain – Wale Edun

Economic Reforms: We’ll Work To Ease Nigerians’ Pain – Wale Edun

by Daudu John

Economic Reforms: We’ll Work To Ease Nigerians’ Pain – Wale Edun

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, has pledged to work hard towards easing the pain and hardship already inflicted on Nigerians by the economic reform policy actions so far taken by President Bola Tinubu

Mr Edun’s pledge comes on the heels of concerns raised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) that Nigeria’s estimated N77 trillion debt burden would likely hamper the economic plans of President Tinubu-led administration.

But addressing staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, in Abuja, on Monday shortly after being sworn in as Minister, Edun said; “We can do it, let’s work together to ensure we achieve our dreams.”

He assured that the far-reaching fiscal and monetary reforms of the present administration would re-set the nation’s economy, adding; “We need to deliver. We need to perform. Nigerians’ expectations are high. Mr. President has set the ball rolling. He has taken some macro-fiscal and monetary measures that will leave Nigeria for the better.

With the promise to drive Nigeria’s economy to the next level of growth, the Minister said President Bola Tinubu has set goals on macro, fiscal and monetary policies, and measures for the country to advance, maintaining that if the country patiently followed the steps outlined by the President, it would be stabilised in no time.

“It’s our duty to help him to ensure the pains are minimized. We know we have a job to do to make sure the reforms don’t leave anybody behind.”

According to him; “We have a job to do to ensure that Nigerians are not left behind”, adding; “I have seen the automation and digitisation taking place in the Ministry, and with that, we can do it. Let’s all work together to achieve all the goals”.

In soliciting the cooperation of the Directors and other personnel towards achieving the desired results, Edun expressed his readiness to build on the achievements of the last Minister, Zainab Ahmed, and take the economy of the nation to greater heights.

While acknowledging that the expectations of Nigerians are quite high, Edun commended the former minister for her hard work during her time on the saddle and also appreciated the ministry personnel for the warm reception accorded him.

Speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties), Mr Udo Ekanem, while receiving the minister, expressed the staff’s resolve to put in their best working with the Minister, adding; “We are lucky to have you looking at your wealth of experience.”

Assuring the Minister of the workers’ commitment and loyalty, Ekanem said they are also receptive to change and innovation as ably demonstrated in the past, saying; “Congratulations on your appointment and redeployment to the ministry of finance. Here, we have committed and dedicated staff that are willing and ready to work. We have heard a lot about you, your good work in Lagos. The staff here are receptive. We are ready to work with you”.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary (Finance), Mr. Aliyu Ahmed, noted that the Minister is indeed on familiar terrain, having manned similar portfolios in Lagos and outside of Nigeria where he enjoyed tremendous work exposure and experience.

The new Minister had arrived at about 2.00 pm at the Ministry headquarters to a warm embrace and reception by excited staff who rendered solidarity songs to express their joy at his appointment and assumption of office.

Meanwhile, in their submission that the Tinubu’s administration has a tough job at hand, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) lamented that their sector has been at the receiving end of Nigeria’s debt crisis which has seen the nation’s debt profile rise by 410 percent over in the last 8 years.
The MAN CEOs’ Confidence Index (MCCI) first quarter 2023 (Q1’23) report painted the worrying picture thus; “The domino effects of escalating public debt on the manufacturing sector are endless. To start with, rising domestic debt is highly crowding out private investment in the manufacturing sector by reducing credit availability and forcing a hike in lending rates.

“External debts are mostly serviced in foreign currencies, hence the high demand for foreign currencies further depreciates the naira and makes importation of non-locally produced critical inputs highly expensive for manufacturers.

“Moreover, higher debt servicing is consuming a greater volume of forex and worsening the forex scarcity that has plagued the manufacturing sector for many years. Higher debt repayment requires increased revenue.”

Further highlighting the challenges, MAN said; “The Nigerian government has continued to breed a harsh business environment by its indiscriminate imposition of high and multiple taxes on manufacturers all in a bid to generate revenue. Huge public debt led to low foreign investment and foreign capital inflow which worsen the forex scarcity that has remained a bone in the throat of manufacturers.”

Consequently, the report further stated that: “Contrary to the popular parlance in the government quarters that Nigeria has a revenue problem, the country’s debt crisis is not a result of inadequate revenue and it is anti-growth to view manufacturing taxes as the last resort for curbing the debt problem.

“The manufacturing sector which has always been at the receiving end has not felt any significant impact of the debt finance on the numerous challenges that have bedeviled its performance in many years. Infrastructure decadence, forex scarcity, credit crunch, and Naira depreciation have become bones in the throats of MAN members despite the humongous increase of over 410% in the country’s debt profile in the last eight years.”

Related Posts

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin