The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, has stated that the country’s public spending is among the lowest in the world.
According to The Punch, he said this during his keynote talk at the annual banking and finance conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Public spending by the Nigerian government, both at the federal and subnational levels, has been very low,” claimed Chaudhuri.
Additionally, he said that the shortfall in infrastructure cannot be filled with current government spending.
“At the current rate of capital spending, it would take 300 years to close Nigeria’s infrastructure gap,” he stated.
The World Bank representative for Nigeria also pointed out that because public investment spending in Nigeria is lower than it is in countries like Indonesia, Ghana, Egypt, and Kenya, access to and quality of infrastructure are poor.
As one of the lowest in the world between 2015 and 2021, government revenues, according to Chaudhuri, are the main danger to the fiscal and debt sustainability.
He also pointed out that the private sector’s ability to invest, expand, and create jobs is further constrained by the appallingly low level of access to finance.
In his keynote presentation, Chaudhuri underlined that both the federal and state governments must take significant measures to ensure that Nigeria experiences consistent growth and prosperity.
The minister of budget and economic planning, Abubakar Bagudu, challenged the financial industry to increase GDP growth from 3.6 to nearly 9%.
“To grow Nigeria’s economy, we must empower our young people, and this can only be done by having an inclusive and sustainable financial services industry,” Bagudu said, adding that “emigration is the biggest threat to retaining our best minds today and our country’s talent is being sought after overseas.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s acting governor, Folashodun Shonubi, added that the sector’s economic contribution to the country was insufficient and needed to be increased.
“Can we assure them that our contribution will be much higher than the current 3.6%? We will then take a seat and determine which factors we can affect.
Similar to this, the Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, asked the stakeholders to make a concerted effort to expand the nation’s economy.
“We have a lot of potential, but our market holds the most promise, he declared. The quantity of people we have reduces the size of our market.”