From our National News Monitoring Desk
Another tonic is coming to palliate Nigeria’s scotched-throated foreign exchange environment, which has seen the local currency, the Naira plummeting N450 to $1 recently, if the words of the Federal Government is to be believed.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, revealed on Friday morning of how American giant, General Electric (GE), is coming with an investment package that would see no less than $2billion being infused into the nation’s economy.
It is part of the fiscal stimulus plan being unfolded by President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team to roll back the recession, which the country announced, last month that its economy had dipped into.
Udoma, had stated that the government was taking measures, including bringing a bill before the National Assembly to accelerate the process of shopping for about $15billion through various ways and means, including selling of the nation’s assets, concessioning and advance payments for licences rounds in the country, to further beat down the Forex demands.
He said of the expected $2billion: “We’re discussing with General Electric. They are committed to bringing in $2million into the concessioning of the existing Lagos-Kano rail and the existing Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rails. They will take them over, revamp them, build coaches here in Nigeria.”
He explained that part of the reasons for seeking NASS’ intervention, was to amend the laws to fast-track the process of accessing the funds.
He said: “The process of getting these things through is taking time. There are certain procedures you have to go through; which is why we met and said, is there a way we could fast-track these things? Because we need the money today and not in three or four months’ time. So, consequently, we looked at presidential directive that can be issued or taking a bill to the National Assembly.
“For instance, one of the things that is holding up the releases is procurement. The procurement processes are slow. They involve advertising for a certain number of times that will take six weeks or so. We’re trying to see how we can fast-track that. We are law-abiding. We don’t want to do anything except by due process and following the law. So, we have identified all these things.”
Source: Channels Television.