Nigerian Finance Minister Speaks On Border Closure, Say’s Nigeria First

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, says the nation will not be able to achieve 80% revenue performance in 2019, adding that the issue of border closure is to protect the interest of Nigeria.

She said this at the public presentation in Abuja on Monday of the 2020 budget proposals.

Ahmed said, “It’s very unlikely that we will reach the N8.33 trillion by the end of 2019, and that’s why we need to make particular efforts to boost revenue performance.

“It is clear that we can not reach even 80 per cent and that is why we have to do several things to make sure that revenue performance is enhanced.

“Releases did not start until late July and as at last week we had scheduled and releases are now up to N650 billion.”

Speaking of the closure of the border, she stated: “It must be Nigeria first and we must protect our own industries because some of our neighbors have flagrantly violated the agreements to which we have jointly signed, and the President said that this is no longer acceptable.

“The border closure is not forever, there will be an end date, the federal government is currently in discussion with governments of our neighbouring countries Niger and the Benin Republic.

“We are negotiating to make sure that the challenges that led to the closure of the borders are addressed on both sides but, especially that our neighbours meet the commitments that we signed unto several years ago.

“Once those discussions are concluded, the borders will be opened again.”

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