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Economy will recover in Q1 2021, says minister

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From Nduka Chiejina (Asst Editor), Abuja

The Federal Government has predicted that the economy will rebound to positive territory in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed made this prediction when board members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) paid her a courtesy call.

She hinged her optimism on the minimal impact of the corona virus pandemic. She said: “The shocks have not manifested as expected, and that the pandemic has not impacted much, especially in Nigeria because of the proactive measures taken by government especially in the health sector.”

A statement from the ministry signed by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, the Special Adviser Media and Communications to Minister of Finance, quoted Zainab Ahmed as saying: “We are expecting by the first quarter of 2021, we shall be okay.”

The finance minister reminded the FIRS board members that “there are other government obligations and debt servicing which requires revenue to fund and we can see that the capacity to do more is there and we expect you (FIRS) to do more”.

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Mrs Ahmed said she was happy “the FIRS has remained resolute as both Value Added Tax (VAT) and Stamp Duty have helped in boosting the revenue”.

FIRS Chairman Mr. Mohammed Nami, said the agency is doing well and the reforms are working.

He added: “In the three to five months, FIRS has been contributing up to 70 percent of Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation.”

He noted that oil figures were down and that COVID-19 has impacted negatively and, therefore, a lot of reforms being carried out are already yielding results. The FIRS team solicited the minister’s support for their reforms.

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