The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun on Friday said the growth recorded by the country in the 2015 fiscal period was the lowest in the last 15 years.
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.84 per cent year on year in real terms in the third quarter of last year.
The growth of 2.84 per cent represents an increase of 0.49 percentage points when compared to the 2.35 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2015.
Adeosun said in a statement issued by her Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Festus Akanbi that to stimulate growth and avoid recession, there is need for a spending stimulus by the government.
According to the minister, this was what informed the decision to send a budget of N6.07tn with a capital expenditure of N1.8tn to stimulate economic development.
The minister said the planned N1.8tn capital investment in 2016 by the Federal Government was key to driving economic growth.
The assured that the economic outlook in the medium term was strong and that if the planned investments in capital were undertaken then based on the GDP growth projections, Nigeria would become a leading global economy.
The statement reads in part, “She said that government would work to ensure that consumption from our huge population would drive internal growth across a number of key sectors.
“She assured that if the disciplined implementation of the plans could be attained then Nigeria would finally be able to diversify and the situation where the entire nation is focused on the oil price would end.
“She explained that that public investment would attract further investment from the private sector and that investments in power and transport would increase the competitive position of Nigerian businesses.”
On the planned borrowing, the minister explained that government was seeking the lowest cost of funds and was therefore consulting with the multilateral agencies, which offered concessional rates of interest as low as 1.5 per cent before looking at the commercial Eurobond Market.
“She said that the financing strategy was to restructure much of the existing debts, which has short maturity and align it with the investment plans of the government in line with its Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
“She assured that government was ensuring that projects to be undertaken would create direct and indirect revenues, which would be used to repay the obligations,” the statement added.