Abuja, Feb. 21, 2024: The Federal Government has expressed determination to raise at least $10 billion to increase foreign exchange liquidity to stabilise the Naira and grow the economy.
President Bola Tinubu made this known at the inauguration of the Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme of the conference was, “Championing Nigeria’s Economic Prosperity.”
Represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, Tinubu revealed plans by his administration to create millions of jobs by unlocking the value of Nigeria’s vast public assets.
This, according to him, is to optimise and double the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He stressed the need to identify, consolidate and maximise returns on government-owned assets worth trillions of Naira.
“The Federal Government set a goal to raise at least 10 billion dollars in order to increase foreign exchange liquidity, a key ingredient to stabilise the naira and grow the economy.
“At the core of this is ensuring optimal management of the assets and investments of the Federal Government towards unlocking their revenue potential.
“This includes our bold and achievable plan to double the GDP growth rate and significantly increase the GDP base over the next 8 years.”
Tinubu, however, noted that decades of mismanagement and underutilisation have plagued the country’s assets, spread across Nigeria and outside its borders, leading to revenue losses that have hindered economic growth.
The President gave the assurance that “the newly restructured Ministry of Finance Incorporated, which is to act as custodian and active manager of these assets, will now take the centre stage.”
He emphasised transparency and accountability as key principles, believing that improved corporate governance, innovative partnerships and attracting alternative investment capital would significantly increase returns.
“These improved returns will then be directed towards crucial funding for education, healthcare, housing, power, roads and other areas vital to lifting millions out of poverty.
“And stimulating sustainable economic development and job creation for the youths.”
Tinubu said that by efficiently managing public resources, the government aimed to build a more equitable society and unlock the full potential of its citizens.
He called on all stakeholders, including ministries, development financial institutions and the public and private sector players, to partner with MOFI to optimise the strategic assets.
He expressed hope that the collaborative effort would unlock Nigeria’s full potential and create a brighter future for all citizens.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, said Tinubu was mindful of the pains of his administration’s reform programmes and was deploying appropriate mechanisms to address the challenges.
He said that 42,000 metric tons of assorted grains were being released with 60,000 metric tons to follow shortly, adding that these are part of measures to arrest inflation and reduce food prices in the coming months across the country.
He urged the management and board of the MOFI to develop a specific line of revenue for the national budget.
This, according to him, is part of its renewed mandate of supporting the Federal Government’s fiscal stability.
The Chairman of the MOFI Board, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, said that the MOFI would play a more active role in the management of assets under its purview.
He urged operators of the assets to see MOFI as partners rather than competitors or regulators, adding that the new management was committed to high level corporate governance.
Usman disclosed that the company had integrated a non-conflict of interest policy to guard against practices that undermine professionalism among members of staff.
The Chief Executive Officer of MOFI, Dr Armstrong Takang, announced the launch of a N100 billion Project Preparation Fund as part of its renewed mandate of ensuring professionalism in the management of public assets.
Takang said that the company would transform the fortunes of public assets and restore investor confidence in both the operations and management of the assets.