Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has reiterated the Federal Government’s continuous collaboration with all relevant stakeholders within and outside the country towards tackling the security challenges.
Ahmed, represented by Prof. Olumide Ayodele, Technical Adviser to Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation said this during the 2021 National Budget Roundtable and Panel Discussion on Thursday at Covenant University, Ota.
The theme of the event is titled: “National Budgeting, Security Issues And Sustainable Development in Nigeria”.
The minister said that the national budget roundtable and panel discussion was timely to bring critical stakeholders together considering the current security situations that had an adverse effect on the government’s revenue.
Ahmed said that there was no way the fiscal revenue of the government could improve and achieve a strong growth without tackling the nation’s insecurity challenges.
“The declining federal government’s revenues due to insecurity problems has necessitated domestic and foreign borrowing to finance its annual expenditures.
“In addition, the development also contributed to the rising country’s debt profile as the government only provides 48.5 per cent of its annual,” she said.
Ahmed stressed the need for strong partnership between the local and foreign stakeholders to enhance government’s revenue as the insecurity had affected the economic activities, saying that without economic activities, inclusive growth and sustainable national development would be hampered.
The minister listed some of the insecurity challenges to include banditry, insurgence, suicide bombing and ethno-religious and cyber-crime, among others.
Ahmed said the federal government the agencies have approval and full funding to recruit substantial personnel, and also the salary of the personnel were increased by the current administration as part of the measures to check insecurity.
She further said that more funds had been allocated to the defence and security sector in the nation’s annual budget.
Prof. Abiodun Adebayo, Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota, said that in recent times the country had experienced an unprecedented wave of insecurity.
Adebayo, represented by Dr Promise Omidiora, the Registrar of the institution, said that the prevailing security threats had prompted the government at all levels to allocate huge resources to security in the annual budget.
The vice-chancellor said that the effects of the national insecurity malaise was overwhelming, because it impacted on the sustainable development of Nigeria economy and the people.
Also, Dr Obindah Gershon, Chairman, Centre for Economic Policy and Development Research, Covenant University, said that insecurity was a pertinent and urgent problem in Nigeria and African Countries, with severe implications for every country’s sustainable economic development.
Gershon said that National Budget Roundtable was expected to identify and proffer solutions to the national problem of insecurity to promote local and foreign investment.(NAN)