No Respite for Economy Yet – Minister of Finance

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Laleye dipo in Minna

There seems to be no respite for the national economy, which has been on the downward trend since the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came into office last May.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeoye, was said to have told state governors and their Commissioners for Finance during the last Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting last week that the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Government should brace up for harder times in the next two months. .

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state, who dropped this hint while addressing a stakeholders meeting in Minna on Monday, said the amount shared among the three tiers of government for the month of March fell below those of the previous months.

“We ( states) have been told by the Minister of Finance that we should prepare for harder times in the next two months. What we expect from the Federation Account will be less than what we got for the month of March.”

All the tiers of government shared a little less than N249bn while Niger state got only N1.4bn.

As a result, Governor Sani Bello said the state would embark on an aggressive internally generated revenue drive and warned that those found not paying their taxes and other levies would dealt with according to the law.

The continued shortfall in the income of the state notwithstanding, the Governor said, priority attention would be given to the payment of staff salaries and allowances which has made the state to incur over N2bn debt between January and March this year because of the augmentation of the amount received from Abuja.

The Governor announced that from May 1 this year the joint state local government Account committee would be abolished while local government councils would be given full autonomy to manage their resources. Local governments he said would now get their money directly.

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