The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed,has projected that based on current micro and macroeconomic indices of the nation’s economy, there are strong indications that the nation’s economy would rebound in the first quarter of next year.
The past few months had been challenging for the federal government as the devastating impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took a huge toll on the economy, plunging it to recessionary slide and leading to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracting to -6.1 percent in the second quarter of this year.
The Minister, who was quoted as making the forecast when board and management team of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja, hinged the prediction on “the minimal impact of the pandemic”.
A statement issued by her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, indicated that Ahmed urged the revenue agency to rev up its revenue generation efforts as a fiscal responsibility required to service government debt and implement its economic recovery projects and programmes activities.
She said: “The shocks have not manifested as expected and the pandemic has not impacted much, especially in Nigeria because of the proactive measures taken by the government especially in the health sector.
“We are expecting by the first quarter of 2021, we shall be okay. There are other government obligations and debt servicing which requires revenue to fund and we can see that the capacity to do more is there and we expect you (FIRS) to do more,” Ahmed charged.
She commended the agency’s board and management for making the value-added tax (VAT) and stamp duty the main sources of non-oil revenue for the government as the volatility of the global oil market continues to make accruals from the sector drop significantly.