By Merit Ugolo
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed (Dr) has sought for intervention on-behalf of the Federal Government from the United Nations to mitigate the challenges bedeviling African countries, Nigeria in particular.
A report from the Publicity Department of the Ministry hinted that the Minister made the disclosure during the meeting with the UN Deputy Secretary – General and Chair on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Amina Mohammed held at the Minister’s Conference Room in Abuja lately.
The Minister stated that in spite of the challenges the country is facing, the Government has actively engaged many agencies towards enhancing the provision of internal security, good governance, food security and infrastructures in Nigeria.
While applauding the UN immense support accorded the country, the Minister appealed for funding from the UN towards the success of the forthcoming general election and the National Population Census scheduled for next year. The Minister further pointed out that the President Mohammadu Buhari – led administration has enacted a lot of laws and Executive Orders backing critical corporate and financial matters to promote the country’s global competitiveness.
She stressed that the Federal Ministry of Finance has achieved greatly in Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) and Debt Sustainability. Adding, it has also made innovative approaches to infrastructure financing and the Institutionalization of the Annual Finance Acts to Support Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) efforts. She however expressed worry that despite all the cooperation extended to Rating Agencies like Fitch Moody’s and Standards and Poor’s (S&P), these Agencies have not been fair in their assessment of the Country, considering the circumstances that Nigeria and other similar countries are operating in.
Earlier in her remarks, the UN Deputy Secretary General, Mrs. Amina Mohammed said that the visit was part of the Organization’s Action Plan to strengthen the relationship between the UN and the Federal Government, and to explore mechanisms in addressing security, health, education and energy issues.
She further noted that the Federal Government has done extensive work in the past seven and half years, urging Nigeria to leverage on the new tools for the complexity of issues in today’s world. According to her, “the world is faced with many crisis today, hence the need to re-design financial policies across developing countries.”
Amina Mohammed inferred that climate action is development action as such Nigeria needs to push for it, indicating that the private sector must come into the development plans. She later urged the Government to work on the removal of oil subsidy as soon as possible.