Okonjo Iweala to peg recurrent expenditure at below 50 per cent by 2013
The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has unfolded her economic agenda designed to meet the aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan for the transformation of the Nigerian economy in the next four years.
A document available to the Nigerian Tribune revealed the wide scope of the minister`s responbilities and the ambitious plans she has drafted for the revitalisation of the nation`s economy.
The agenda reviewed the impact of the renewed global economic crisis on Sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria in particular and included time limits for the achievements of most targets set in the agenda and expected roles and responsibilities of other stakeholders.
High on the agenda is the issue of job creation which the minister hopes to achieve through innovative programmes and projects in health, education, science and technology, agriculture and environment with full participation with the private sector.
It was learnt that expansion of the economic team to include Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr Atedo Peterside of the Nigerian Economic Society was at the instance of the minister who reportedly regards the private sector as key in her job creation plans.
The minister will also tackle the dominance of recurrent expenditure in the budget which the document put at over 70 per cent, leading to the minister`s plan to peg recurrent expenditure at below 50 per cent by 2013.
The minister also sets her eyes on reducing budget deficit which is said to be very high, citing deficit financing as a threat to any moves to revive the economy.
Other focus of the agenda include building up the nation`s foreign reserves to boost credibility at international level, keeping the national debt at manageable level, increasing the percentage of non-oil exports to reduce dependence on oil earnings.