Wednesday, August 17, 2022

My job is to spend public funds: Tunde Fashola

Mr Fashola said this Sunday evening to deflect questions on his stance about the nation’s enormous and still rising debt profile.

• July 25, 2022
Babatunde Fashola (credit: BBC)
Babatunde Fashola (Credit: BBC)

Tunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, says his job is to spend public funds and not earn it, in an attempt to deflect questions regarding the nation’s humongous debt burden.

“I can conveniently tell you here that I am not Nigeria’s minister of finance, my job is to spend the money not to earn it, that’s my job!” Mr Fashola said on Channels TV Sunday evening to deflect further questions on his stance about the nation’s enormous and still rising debt profile.

Although, finance minister Zainab Ahmed last week implied the nation was running low on funds following her statement that Nigeria’s debt servicing had surpassed its revenue, Mr Fashola insisted Nigeria was not broke.

He argued that the nation’s capacity to repay debt amassed did not in any way signify “being broke.”

“To the best of my knowledge, Nigeria is not broke. Being indebted and being able to service your debt in conventional finance is not being broke,” argued the works minister.

He also denied the nation was battling a “debt crisis”. According to him, the finance minister only explained the “challenges of financing our (Nigeria’s) budget with maintenance of subsidy,” which does not translate to a debt crisis.

At the interviewer’s persistence to elicit a response from the minister on if he cared that the borrowing rate was becoming too much, Mr Fashola admitted he was “concerned”.  

“I am concerned and every responsible Nigerians (sic) should have his eye on the debt and you should be concerned,” replied the former Lagos state governor.

Economist Odilim Enwagbara said Mr Fashola was right that his ministry does not generate money, but that such a situation is an anomaly in itself. 

“The works ministry does not generate money right now,” Mr Enwagbara told Peoples Gazette on Monday morning. “But it should be a revenue-generating ministry like its counterparts in China and other countries.” 

“In fact, any ministry in Nigeria could generate money if they properly channel their enabling laws and potentials,” the economist added.

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa

NationWide

Buhari appoints Yanimu Musa head of National Counter Terrorism Centre

Before his appointment, Mr Musa had been the Director of the Counter Terrorism Directorate in the ONSA since 2017.

Emmanuel Osodeke

Education

ASUU strike continues as Buhari regime fails to accede lecturers’ demands 

A top ASUU operative said the three-hour meeting ended without any commitment to resolving the issue by either parties.

INEC Photo (Credit: Punch Newspapers)

Politics

INEC redeploys two RECs, eight senior officials

The redeployed RECs according to Mr Okoye were Dr Cyril Omorogbe from Cross River to Akwa-Ibom; and Dr Alalibo Sinikiem from Edo to Rivers.

Muhammad Bello

Abuja

Abuja safest, most peaceful city in Nigeria: Minister

Mr Mohammed added that efforts being made by the FCTA to curb insecurity in Abuja were numerous.

Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.

States

We spend N24 billion annually on poverty alleviation schemes in Sokoto: Minister

“It is consistent with President Buhari’s deliberate National agenda of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.”

Dollar and Naira

Economy

Naira loses value against dollar, exchanges at N430.67 at I&E window

The figure represented a decrease of 0.16 per cent compared with the N430 it exchanged for the dollar on Monday.