In some recent newspaper reports, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was quoted as stating before the Senate Committee on Appropriation that the Federal Government plans to cut the 2012 budget by N370 billion.
Such reports are not accurate. The minister did not cite the amount published.
What she did say is that in its efforts to meet the challenge of financing the remaining portion of the fiscal deficit of over N300 billion, government is adopting a combination of strategies. These strategies include the reduction in government expenditure particularly overheads and a more aggressive push on revenue generation.
In discussing the fiscal deficit, Dr Okonjo-Iweala also made it clear that there is an urgent need to take action in order to reduce the cost of governance and improve the overall health of the economy.
Paul C Nwabuikwu
Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance