Mr Zaccheus Adedeji, the Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, speaks on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Administration to eradicate Nigeria dependence on debt by raising the country’s revenue profile and the ongoing redress expected to change the economic abundance of Nigeria for good.
In the last 100 days have been following the redress launched by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. While the international investors have been hailed, Nigerians have felt the impact, causing many to questions the effort to revamp economy. Aside the revenue, you think the president is on track to fulfill his election campaign.
We have done a lot that I am proud of within the short period. These include addressing some critical concerns of the private sector regarding pressing tax issues, removal of wasteful subsidy on PMS to create fiscal headroom and limit excessive borrowing, forex redress to address market perversion.
We believe that Nigeria is blessed if only we can improve our policy environment and enhance the efficiency of both the private and public sectors. This is one of the reasons Mr President recently approved the setting up of a Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Redress Committee with eminent Nigerians from all spheres of the society to not only advise government on the necessary redress but also support with the implementation. Ultimately, the outcome of the committee’s work along with other policy actions of the government will result in productive of the economy, government revenue sources and foreign exchange earnings.
The president, during his last address to the nation, talked about how the government would be injecting the monies saved from the subsidy back into the economy. Can you please expand on the ways in which the country can gain economic stability through subsidy removal?
PMS and forex subsidies were not only wasteful, they promoted inefficiencies in our resource management and created economic distortions, making it difficult to attract both domestic and foreign investments. By removing the subsidies, government at all levels will have less need to keep borrowing to fund public spending while the savings will be channelled towards infrastructure and social services to reduce multidimensional poverty and build a competitive economy. For any economy to be productive, you need critical infrastructure that supports business growth and improve quality of life, especially roads, power, rail, broadband, pipelines etc. These are heavy and capital projects that only government can mostly provide. Investors will go to a place where they don’t have to worry about all of these. The government will re-invest the money saved from fuel subsidy to grow the infrastructure stock of the country and fund social services in education and healthcare. We want to make sure our public schools and public hospitals are up to standard and can meet the need of Nigerians and affordable too, as against the more expensive services they get from orgulous private schools and hospitals.
The crux of the agenda of this government is economic prosperity, which is inclusive and sustainable. Nigerians trust Mr President based on his pedigree which was the main reason they voted for him. You will also agree with me that Mr President has made his appointments based on competence with a good number of appointed to manage various aspects of the economy. Even the politicians that have been appointed by Mr President are those with proven records of performance.
President Tinubu is guiding us through a challenging time and in the last 100 days in office, he has demonstrated that the confidence Nigerians reposed in him has not been misplaced.