Nigeria’s public expenditure very low says W’Bank


World BankThe World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, has said that public spending in the country is among the lowest globally.

He said this while making his keynote address at the annual banking and finance conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

His presentation noted that “Nigeria’s government expenditures are the lowest globally.”

According to Chaudhuri, “Public spending by the Nigerian government, both the federal and subnational levels, have been very low.”

He added that government spending is insufficient to close the infrastructure gap.

His presentation document read, “At the current rate of capital spending, it would take 300 years to close Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.”

The World Bank leader for Nigeria also noted that public investment spending in Nigeria lags those in other countries like Indonesia, Ghana, Egypt, and Kenya, and this has led to poor quality of and access to infrastructure.

Chaudhuri also said that government revenues are one of the lowest in the world between 2015 and 2021, and low revenues are the key risk to fiscal and debt sustainability.

He further noted that access to finance is abysmally low, which further restricts the private sector’s ability to invest, grow, and generate jobs.

In his keynote address, Chaudhuri emphasised that for Nigeria to achieve steady growth and prosperity, both federal and state governments must take critical steps to ensure the country’s security, political stability, and the rule of law.

The bank also called on authorities to invest in human capital, particularly in children, unleash the potential of private investment, promote job creation, and ensure access to finance.

Also, at the conference, some stakeholders reiterated the need for the financial sector to make deliberate efforts towards increasing its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, challenged the financial sector to move from 3.6 to about nine per cent growth of GDP.

Bagudu said, “To grow Nigeria’s economy, we must empower our youthful population and this can only be achieved by having an inclusive and sustainable financial services industry, adding that the biggest threat to retaining our best brains today is emigration and our country’s talent is being sought after in the more developed countries in Europe and North America.

‘’Emigration is a personal choice for the person and his family, our country cannot and will not forcefully stop anyone from legally pursuing their dreams and ambitions. If they choose to leave Nigeria, all we can ask is for them to be good ambassadors for our country in their adopted homes’’.

Also, the acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Folashodun Shonubi, said the sector’s economic contribution to the nation was low and needed improvement.

“Can we promise them that instead of 3.6 per cent, we will be contributing a lot more than that. And we will sit down and find what the drivers are that we can influence and do.

“I don’t want to put a number in front of us but it is what I will like to see at the end of the conference.  I don’t think we contribute a lot of ourselves , we as bankers need to be more conscious, a bit more active on advocacies that are actionable,” he said.

Similarly, the Chairman, Body of Banks’ CEOs, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, urged for a deliberate effort by the stakeholders towards growing the country’s economy.

He said, “We have enormous potential, the biggest potential we have is in our market. Our market is depleted by the number of people we have.

In his remarks, the President of the Chattered Institute of Bankers, Mr Ken Opara said the event which has grown to become the largest gathering of banking and finance professionals in Africa, provides the platform for professionals to come together to drive conversation on topical issues that are critical to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

He praised the reform initiatives of President Bola Tinubu, noting that “the reform initiatives such as subsidy removal, unifying the foreign exchange regime, investing in infrastructure, promoting agriculture, supporting SMEs and tax reforms, among others, if well implemented will unlock the economic potentials of the country.”

Previous Article

Sterling GMD, directors buy N514m additional shares

Next Article

Atiku, Obi plan appeal as election tribunal dashes bid to sack Tinubu

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.