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THE Minister of Budget and National
Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma, has assured that the Federal Government has
no plans to sell off all national assets to fund the fiscal stimulus strategy.

Udoma gave the clarification in a
statement by his Media Adviser, James Akpandem, yesterday, in Abuja.

He said that the primary objective
of the government’s fiscal stimulus plan was not to sell off all major critical
national assets but to source for immediate funds to get the economy out of
recession.

He said the intention of government
was just to get enough money to fund the 2016 budget and to put the economy
back on the path of recovery.

A report on naijonline, stated that
the Economic Management Team had been working on a plan to generate and inject
large amount of funds, estimated at between 10 billion dollars and 15 billion
dollars into the economy.

“This unfortunate scenario has
prompted the team to urgently work out a fiscal stimulus plan to generate
immediate large injection of funds into the economy,” he said.

He said the plans were to generate
funds through asset sales, advance payment for license rounds, infrastructure
concessioning and use of recovered funds to reduce the funding gap.

The other option, according to the
minister, would have been to source for additional loans, beyond the level of
borrowing, already projected for in the 2016 budget.

“This would not be a wise option as
it would raise the level of debt service to an unsustainable level,” Udoma said

He also said the government was
exploring several options in the asset sales proposal including repurchase
options, which would make provision for buy-back of those assets when the
situation improved.

The minister said the country’s
economy might not have gone into recession but for the drastic fall in oil
production levels and disruptions caused by oil pipeline vandalism.

Udoma said the government
appreciated that the downturn in the economy had brought hardship to the
people, adding that government was committed to redressing the situation.

“Our goal is to unlock the economic
potential of the non-oil and high-employment sectors. This is to achieve a
sustainable inclusive growth that will ensure that the majority of Nigerians
become more productive, thereby reducing poverty.

“We are deliberately working
towards diversifying the economy by ensuring that the non-oil sector drives the
economy, because this is the sector that contributes most to GDP,” Udoma said.

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