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Hope precedes appointment of finance minister

09 November 2015, 17:14

Abuja - A leading international economic think-tank is hopeful the appointment of a Finance Minister will be key in resuscitating the economy.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) International Markets expressed confidence ahead of the inauguration of the new cabinet, scheduled for later this week.

“After months of speculation regarding the cabinet, the presidency has confirmed that a new Federal Executive Council will be officially inaugurated on Wednesday, 11 November,” RMB stated on Monday.

“We believe that the appointment of a finance minister will provide direction to the flailing economy and stimulate a change of CBN policies as authorities are forced to address structural challenges.”

The ministry, which is expected to present the 2016 Appropriation Bill to parliament in just over a month, will take its cue from the federal government with regards to budget planning, the firm stated.

Also read: Finance minister warns against multiple taxation

It noted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had proposed a zero-based budgeting model for 2016 which requires that all line-items be re-evaluated thoroughly, starting from the zero base to minimise wasteful expenditure.

“Although more time-consuming than incremental budgeting, the process ensures that a fresh budget is prepared every year without reference to the past,” RMB said.

It said the establishment of an infrastructure fund outside of the national budget has also been bandied about, implying that capital expenditure will be minimised to accommodate the state’s recurrent spending commitments.

“Though practical, the fund will require firm commitments from retail and institutional investors to ensure that Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is adequately developed. Debt management will prove challenging in FY16/17 as domestic borrowing becomes increasingly onerous, forcing the government to tap international sources of funding.”

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was the last Minister of Finance.

- CAJ News

Tags nigeria

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