From Uche Usim, Washington DC

Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, at the weekend in Washington DC, championed conversations and cemented global connections to ensure that Nigeria leverages available technology to swell revenue generation by 60 per cent this year and generally boost economic growth.

He showcased the pivotal role of digitisation and fiscal reforms during his appearance at the Semafor World Economy Summit, held alongside the ongoing World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings.

Co-chaired by former US Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker and The Carlyle Group Co-Founder, David Rubenstein, the summit brought together global economic leaders. “Technology runs throughout everything that we are doing,” HM Edun stated, highlighting the comprehensive integration of digital solutions in government operations to boost efficiency and transparency.

In a candid discussion with Yinka Adegoke of Semafor, Edun outlined Nigeria’s targets for fiscal improvement and economic stabilisation. He emphasised that the government was capitalising on digitisation technology to significantly enhance revenue management and collection, setting a goal for an over 60% revenue increase this year. This strategy is essential for reducing the nation’s fiscal deficit from 6.1% to 3.8% of GDP and alleviating economic pressures on Africa’s largest economy.

“To get the economy going again, we do have to bring down inflation, we have to stabilise the exchange rate, and we eventually need to get interest rates down so investors can borrow in addition to their equity,” explained Edun, delineating the key economic stabilisation measures necessary to create a more attractive investment climate.

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He also addressed the government’s strategic efforts to boost oil production, underlining that augmenting revenue was crucial for sustainable debt management.

“The answer to debt is revenue,” Edun remarked, comparing Nigeria’s fiscal strategies to those of the United States and highlighting the necessity to generate adequate revenue to fulfill obligations and attract investments.

He further pointed out the significant strides made in stabilising the naira and enhancing its performance through improved coordination between fiscal and monetary policy, increasing its appeal to both portfolio and direct foreign investors.

“And if you stabilise the economy for portfolio investors to come, behind them are the longer-term, more stable, and bigger foreign direct investors who make a bigger commitment to the country. That’s why I say it’s a progression,” Edun articulated, underscoring the sequential improvement and attraction strategy for investors.

He assured that Nigeria will collaborate with international counterparts to advance Nigeria’s economic interests and developmental objectives.