Why Borrowing Under Buhari Has Increased—Finance Minister
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has explained why the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has embarked on huge borrowing since he came into power on May 29, 2019.
The Minister, in a statement issued by her Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Mr Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, on Monday disclosed that the borrowing has increased because of Mr Buhari’s desire to invest in public infrastructure, which will boost the economy and attract foreign investors like MoneyBrighter and others.
Mrs Ahmed said the President, recognising the importance of infrastructure from his first day in office, prioritised infrastructure provision and upgrade by ensuring that resources are adequately mobilised for infrastructure provision. If you are unaware of how to get an llc, then consider checking out startmyllc website.
She noted that engaging in such huge public investment in infrastructure requires a management system and structure that will ensure that government gets value for money spent, hence, the need to set up public investment management units.
“In a developing economy such as ours, the provision of infrastructure is usually a cardinal objective. This is mainly due to the multiplier effect of the provision of roads, rails, schools, hospitals, etc. on the growth and development of the economy,” she said.
“This is even very compelling given that the government has had to increase its borrowing to fund these public investments in infrastructure owing to revenue challenges. Thus, because public investment refers to government’s spending on infrastructure, its management literally means the process of handling expenditures to ensure that government gets value for its investments,” Mrs added when she spoke at a two-day retreat held last week by the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF)/National Assembly Appropriation Committee on the Budget Process with focus on Strengthening Public Investment Management (PIM).
The Minister submitted that strengthening public investment will come easy with commitment, loyalty and collaborations between the parliament and the Ministry.
“For us to have a strong public investment management system that will help us reduce our infrastructure deficit, deepen our PFM reforms and assist in achieving the goals of our medium to long-term development plans, the executive and the legislature must perform their separate roles effectively while also collaborating to ensure overall success.
“The role of both the executive and legislative cannot be overemphasised. As we all know; the budget is the main fiscal policy instrument through which public investment in infrastructure is carried out by the government.
“Besides, ensuring adequate provisions of resources for public investment in infrastructure in key sectors of the economy is one of the key points of our medium-term expenditure framework which forms the basis for preparing the annual budget in line with provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007,” she said.
“Since the coming on board of this administration, the BOF has taken several steps aimed at ensuring allocative efficiency of resources as well as transparency in budget implementation and reporting.
“For example, the government’s commitment to achieving transparency in public expenditure is reflected in the progress that we have made since the country signed up to the open government partnership (OGP) in May 2016 as the 70th member country,” she added.
The Minister also noted that the oversight role of the legislative arm of government is particularly important for strengthening the public investment management system.
“Irrespective of the budgetary allocations, the lack of quality spending will erode the objectives of such high allocations.
“As such, the legislature, using its instrumentality of the oversight function, can help improve the quality of government’s spending on infrastructure. This usually complements the monitoring efforts of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning,” she noted further.
Mrs Ahmed disclosed that PIM Units have now been established across the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region, noting that, “These units are usually located in a country’s Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Planning or Economic Development.
“Their purpose is to strengthen the appraisal, selection and implementation of infrastructure projects that many countries are (or will be) using to boost the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”