Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, yesterday, stated that Nigeria could earn over $13.3 billion yearly if it succeeded in creating a national asset register.
Edun spoke at the unveiling of Afrinvest 2023 Nigerian Banking Sector Report in Lagos.
The minister, who was represented by Managing Director, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, MOFI, Dr. Armstrong Takang, explained that the revenue that could come from the success of the national asset register could be equivalent to three per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He stated, “For the purpose of this exercise, our GDP is $450 billion, so we are talking about $13.3 billion extra revenues per year that can come from that exercise and it is real. So, if we drive ourselves higher, we should have Assets Under Management (AUM) of not less than $150 billion.”
The minister added, “So the message I leave with you today is, yes, we may have headwinds, we may have challenges, but I believe that if we manage our resources, our assets better by joining hands with the government to come up with proposals, we will get out of it.”
He said the federal government was reforming MOFI due to the plethora of asset classes that had been lying moribund for years, stressing that many of the country’s corporate assets have not been paying dividends.
He stated, “We have significant real estate assets both at home and abroad that are not yielding any revenues for us. That has to change. We have oil and gas assets that have been performing sub- optimally for decades and licences were given to people 10 to 15 years ago, but they have not invested a single dime in developing those assets. Whereas you have other investors that are looking to invest in those assets. We need to go back and determine how best to optimise those assets to deliver value for us. It will be cheaper for us to do that than relying on external borrowings.”
Speaking earlier, Group Managing Director, Afrinvest Group, Ike Chioke, said the report provided a deep dive into what was really happening in the banking sector, with the objectives to unravel all the important issues, highlight risks and opportunities and then recommend remedial actions as necessary.
Chioke said the 2022 report predicted the removal of the subsidy, deregulation of the naira, and other things that were going to happen, regardless of who won the 2023 presidential election, while recommending that the government could not continue in the way it had been doing for so many years.
Chioke said despite writing the report, Afrinvest was just as shocked as everyone with the pain. He said with the new report, it was expected that the untapped potential that remained in the country’s banking, financial services and the overall economy would be optimised.
Chioke further said it was the belief that some of the early actions already taken by the present government signalled a new perspective of where it wanted to take the economy. He said to get Nigeria to work again would require a lot of comprehensive work and collaborative effort from the government and the private sector.
According to Chioke, “In trying to push the economy, you are looking at multiple cycles that are running independently of themselves that need to be synchronised, from the monetary policy point of view to the fiscal policy, revenue from the NNPC and the debt side.
“We look at what the Debt Management Office is coping with and the fact that even with the recently passed N2.17 trillion supplementary budget, nobody has explained to us how the money is coming in.
“This is because we learned the central bank is not printing money for the government. So while we know that the revenue has finished, how are we able to do a supplementary budget without knowing the source of the income?”
Source: Nigeria Lawyer