Honourable Minister of Finance and Leader of Nigerian Delegation to the 2018 IMF-World Bank Spring Meeting, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, addressing a joint press briefing at 2018 IMF-World Bank Spring Meeting in Washington DC, USA.
BY NKECHI NAECHE (WASHINGTON DC) —-Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun on Sunday said that the recovered $322million Abacha funds has been earmark for Social Safety Nets.
The Minister gave this assurance at a joint press briefing with the Central Bank Governor at the end of the 2018 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meeting in Washington DC, United States.
The Minister confirmed the recovery of the sum of US$322,515,931.83 Abacha funds from the Swiss Government into a special account in the CBN.
The funds, according to her, have been earmarked for the National Social Safety Nets programme of the Government.
“The objective of the National Social Safety Nets Project for Nigeria is to provide access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded national social safety nets system,” Adeosun stated.
On the nation’s domestic debt, the Minister stated that the Government would not aggressively grow the debt.
“We are refinancing our inherited debt portfolio from short term Treasury Bills to longer tenured debt which has resulted in huge savings and reduction in costs of funds for the Government,” she said.
She disclosed that the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) deadline was extended by three months till June 30, 2018 due to the appeals from tax payers for more time to regularise their tax status.
She revealed that the present Administration has raised the tax payers’ base from 13 million in 2015 to 17 million as at 2018.
The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele further disclosed that the country’s foreign reserves had risen to US$47.93 billion.
“There is need to save for the raining day and also continue to grow the foreign reserves. If we had enough reserves, we wouldn’t have suffered the recession shocks,” he explained.
He assured that concerted efforts were ongoing to realise the 80 per cent target for financial inclusion by 2020.