Nigeria’s budget can only support salaries, says Finance Minister
Nigerian government on Tuesday painted a gloomy picture on the expectations of Nigerians as regards the provision of essential infrastructure, payment of workers salary as well as delivery of other services.
According to the government, the annual budgetary provisions available are not enough to meet all the required needs of the people.
This is as the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, assured, however, that the government was working round the clock to re-position the economy, stressing that with determined efforts and focus, the challenges could be over in the next 12 months.
Osinbajo also said government had identified certain critical things that could be done to improve the economic fortunes of the country even as he assured the private sector of a conducive business environment to operate.
Speaking at the forum, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, noted that the budget size of the country was not enough to carry all government’s programmes and also pay salaries of workers, stressing that the country had the least budget size in sub-Saharan Africa.
She said: “Our budget is significantly lower when attached to GDP. We are currently at six per cent. It is lower than all our peers and that is the lowest in Sub-Sahara Africa and one of the lowest in the world.
“Our budget size is too small and that means we can only pay salaries in some cases and we don’t have money to deliver essential services.
‘’There simply isn’t enough money in government to do what government wants to do. I am sure you will say that is because people are stealing or because you are wasting money but I am saying even if you plug all the stealing and all the waste, the budget size is not big enough and that is because we are not paying enough in terms of tax or we are not collecting enough in terms of tax”.