Obaseki Replies Finance Minister, Asks FG To End ‘Monetary Rascality’

A photo collage of Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed.

 

The disagreement between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, lingers with the governor backing his claim concerning the country’s rising debt profile.

The governor last week said that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations but the Finance Minister debunked the claim saying it is “very sad and untrue.”

Obaseki in a series of tweets on Thursday went further to speak concerning the economic situation of the country, noting that he believes it is statutory to offer useful advice for the benefit of the nation.

He also said the Finance Minister is ‘playing the Ostrich’ and called on the Federal Government to end ‘monetary rascality.’

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records Highest Inflation Rate In Four Years

“While we do not want to join issues with the Federal Ministry of Finance, we believe it is our duty to offer useful advice for the benefit of our country.

“The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, should rally Nigerians to stem the obvious fiscal slide facing our country.

“Rather than play the Ostrich, we urge the government to take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality, so as to prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further.

“We believe it is imperative to approach the Nigerian project with all sense of responsibility and commitment and not play to the gallery because ultimately, time shall be the judge of us all,” he said.

The governor’s reply comes few hours after the Minister of Finance debunked his claim that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.

The Finance Minister after the 41st virtual Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House on Wednesday told journalists that Obaseki’s claim was very sad and untrue.

“The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor, for me, is very sad because it is not a fact.

“What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated and in fact, distribution revenue is public information. We publish revenue generated by FIRS, the Customs, and the NNPC and we distribute at FAAC.

“So, it is not true to say we printed money to distribute at FAAC. It is not true,” she said.

The Finance Minister insisted that the nation’s debt profile is still at sustainable limits and maintained that the nation’s debt profile which currently stands at 23percent of the total GDP is at sustainable levels.

Obaseki’s Claim On Printing Of N60bn Is Untrue, Says Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed has debunked claims by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.

The Minister said this on Wednesday at a briefing after the 41st virtual Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the State House.

She described the governor’s claim as very sad and untrue.

According to her, monies distributed at Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) are revenues generated from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), etc adding that revenue distribution is information that can be publicly accessed.

READ ALSO: Bandits Committing Crimes Under The Guise Of ESN, Says Umahi

“The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor, for me, is very sad because it is not a fact.

“What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated and in fact, distribution revenue is public information. We publish revenue generated by FIRS, the Customs, and the NNPC and we distribute at FAAC.

“So, it is not true to say we printed money to distribute at FAAC. It is not true,” she said.

On the question of Nigeria’s debt profile pegged at N15-16 trillion, the Finance Minister insists that the nation’s debt profile is still at sustainable limits.

Ahmed advised that what the nation needs to critically do instead is improve revenue to enhance capacity to service Nigeria’s debt obligations and fulfill the quotidian needs of running the government.

She maintained that the nation’s debt profile which currently stands at 23percent of the total GDP is at sustainable levels.

Obaseki last week raised an alarm over the country’s rising debt profile, saying the situation is more critical now because of the huge amount borrowed to service the ailing economy.

He also claimed that the Federal Government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for FAAC.

FG Proposes To Spend N396bn On COVID-19 Vaccination – Finance Minister

Health workers with COVID-19 vaccines at the National Hospital in Abuja on March 5, 2021. PHOTO: Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Federal Government is proposing to spend the sum of N396 billion for the COVID-19 vaccination in 2021 and 2022.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this on Wednesday after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Ahmed explained that the figure may significantly reduce as the Federal Government receives more donations of the vaccines from the private sector.

She adds that the Ministry of Health is working on details of the gap that the Federal Government will be required to fill in the vaccination exercise.

The Minister explained that the figure may significantly reduce as the Federal Government receives more donations of the vaccines

 

She also explains that the size of the proposed supplementary budget agreed by the executive and legislative arm is yet to be resolved, because the Ministry of Defence and Health, are yet to provide details of the military hardware requirement.

Ahmed had earlier in February said a supplementary budget will be needed to cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations, for which no provision was made in the 2021 finance bill adopted in December.

The Federal Government has said it plans to inoculate 40% of Nigeria’s population this year and another 30% in 2022.

“There will be a supplementary budget, the first one will be in March relating to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ahmed told reporters.

Health workers carry medical kits at the National Hospital in Abuja ahead of the COVID-19 vaccination on March 5, 2021. PHOTO: Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

FG Targets N7.9trn Revenue For 2021, Says Finance Minister

 

Zainab Ahmed

 

The Federal Government has set an aggressive revenue target of 7.9 trillion naira for the year 2021. 

It is expected that 30 percent of the total revenue from the oil sector and 70 percent from the non-oil sectors.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, stated this on Tuesday during a virtual budget breakdown.

She noted that the 7.9 trillion naira revenue target is 30 percent higher than the amount projected for the 2020 budget.

A total of 1.8 trillion naira has been spent for the execution of capital projects in the 2020 fiscal period and the figure represents about 89 per cent of the provision made for capital projects for the year.

According to her, out of the 1.8 trillion naira spent on capital projects, the sum of 118 billion naira was released for COVID-19 related capital expenditure.

The Minister added that the Federal Government had projected the sum of 9.9 trillion expenditure for 2020, and spent about N10.08trn representing 101 percent performance.

While debt servicing for the year 2020 stood at 3.2 trillion naira , the sum of 3.trillion was released for payment of salaries and pensions.

Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister

A file photograph of Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed.
A file photograph of Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed.

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, said the country will exit recession by the first quarter of 2021.

Ahmed spoke about the current recession in the country at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

Nigeria, on Saturday, entered its second recession in five years in the third quarter of this year as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell for the second consecutive quarter.

READ ALSO: Recession: Nigeria Must Stop Borrowing – Atiku

According to figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48 percent just as it recorded a -6.10 percent in the second quarter.

The finance minister said the COVID-19-induced recession followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.

“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” Ahmed said.

Also at the Economic Summit, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the emphasis that the government is committed to working in synergy with the private sector to foster equitable growth and underpin national development.

The 26th Nigerian Economic Summit focuses on building partnership for resilience for Nigeria’s households, businesses, and the general economy.

Why Mambila Power Project Was Not Captured In 2021 Budget – Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed has explained why Mambila Power Project was not captured in the 2021 budget.

The Minister disclosed this on Tuesday during a budget defense session with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.

She said the Mambila Power Project was not removed from the budget of the Ministry of Power but it was not prioritised by the Ministry of Power when it submitted it’s 2021 budget.

Ahmed explained further that the Ministry of Power exceeded the available envelope for its budget.

She explains that ministries are given a budget envelope within which to prepare their budgets and only priority projects are adopted.

The Senate had earlier expressed displeasure when it discovered that the much talked about Mambila Power Project was not captured by the Federal Government in the 2021 Budget.

This was after the Minister of Power, Mamman Sale, appeared before the Senate Committee on Power for the 2021 budget defence session of the ministry and its agencies.

The Mambila Power Project was designed to help improve power generation and supply in Nigeria. The hydropower project has a generation capacity of 3,050 Mega Watt (MG), when completed.

South African Economy Could Shrink More Than Forecast – Minister

A queue of cars are seen at the Maseru Bridge border post between Lesotho and South Africa on March 24, 2020. Molise Molise / AFP.

 

South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni warned Sunday the economy could shrink by more than the 7 percent forecast by policymakers and the central bank for 2020, adding that public finances are “overstretched”.

The economy of Africa’s most industrialised nation contracted by more than half in the second quarter of this year, an unprecedented decline caused by anti-coronavirus restrictions.

Looking ahead, there is a “risk that the actual GDP outcome for 2020 could be lower than previously thought,” Mboweni wrote in the local Sunday Times newspaper.

The Treasury and central bank expect the economy to contract by 7.2 and 7.3 percent respectively this year, after the country went into a strict lockdown in March already in recession.

Mboweni noted that public finances, already in an “unsustainable position” before the pandemic, were now “overstretched”.

“The reduction in economic activity in the second quarter has flowed through to lower tax revenue,” the minister wrote, adding that emergency tax relief to keep households and businesses afloat would compound the loss.

Government is expected to fall short of more than 300 billion rand ($18 billion) in tax revenue — over six percent of GDP — Mboweni said, forcing the heavily indebted country to “borrow even more”.

But he also promised reforms to climb out of the hole, writing “we must be bold in confronting what has impeded economic growth and the progress of our nation.”

He wrote that one of government’s priorities would be to ensure “adequate and reliable electricity”, backed by a commitment to unlock private investment in the public sector.

Unreliable electricity supply from state operator Eskom’s fleet of rickety coal-fired power stations is often blamed as a source of economic instability in South Africa.

The country accounts for around half of the continent’s coronavirus cases, with over 648,000 infections and 15,427 deaths recorded to date, although daily increases have been dropping since July.

AFP

FEC Approves $3.1bn For Automation Of Nigeria Customs

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the FEC meeting.

 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $3.1 billion for the end to end automation of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). 

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this at the end of the FEC virtual meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to her, the concessionary period is 20 years and the funding is solely from investors with the revenue expected from this automation pegged at $176bn.

“The main objective of this project is to completely automate every aspect of the Customs business and to institutionalise the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhance the statutory functions of the Nigeria Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security.

“The total cost of the project is in the sum of $3.1 billion and the consortium, the PPP that has been approved is led by Messrs Huawei technologies with four other members.

The Finance Minister gave a breakdown of the project funding, and stated that the investors will be paid overtime according to a schedule that will be negotiated with the Federal Government.

“This investment of $3.1 billion is broken down into capital investment of $1.2 million that will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.8 million is our projection of the operational cost over the 20-year period of the implementation of this project.

“This project has the potential to yield up to $176 billion of revenue from the project and the consortium that are providing these investments are going to be paid overtime according to the schedule that will be negotiated for their investments including their profits and cost of funds,” she added.

Mrs Ahmed also revealed that FEC  approved the upgrade of safe towers in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port Harcourt airports.

The minister added that the analog systems in the airports will be upgraded to digital just as weather reports will now be transmitted instantly as against the current hourly practice.

The airport upgrade is to cost N13.122 billion.

During the meeting, FEC also reiterated the need for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to consult the Federal Government-owned Galaxy Backbone Limited before budgeting and all payments should go to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

Council noted that all federal institutions have equally been assessed to see what Information Communication Technology (ICT) upgrades are needed.

The identified upgrades are to commence immediately, the Council said.

To aid the fight against drug abuse, FEC gave a nod to the purchase of a property at the Aviation Village, Abuja.

The building which will serve as accommodation for officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), was formerly owned by Chachangi Airlines and was bought for N1.196bn with a delivery period of four weeks.

South Africa’s Ramaphosa Reprimands Minister For Attacking Zambian Leader

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the crowd gathered at the Miki Yili Stadium, ahead of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of Freedom Day, in Makhanda, Eastern Cape Province on April 27, 2019. Freedom Day commemorates the first democratic post-apartheid elections held in South Africa on April 27, 1994. Michele Spatari / AFP.

 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has “strongly reprimanded” his finance minister for challenging the Zambian leader to explain his decision to sack that country’s central bank governor, the presidency said Monday.

In a surprise move, Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Saturday fired his respected central bank governor. Denny Kalyalya.

No reason was given for the removal of the governor, who had been credited with bringing stability to the economy.

South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reacted angrily, demanding an explanation.

“Presidents in Africa must stop this nonsense of waking up in the morning and fire a Central Bank Governor! You cannot do that. This is not some fiefdoms of yours! Your personal property?! No!” tweeted Mboweni on Saturday.

“That Governor was a good fella. Why do we do these things as Africans. The President of Zambia must give us the reasons why he dismissed the Governor – or else hell is on its way. I will mobilize!”

On Sunday he wrote that his tweets had landed him in hot water, but vowed to not give up.

“Looks like I am in trouble about my statement on the dismissal of the Bank of Zambia Governor! I stand by my statement. Central Bank independence is key. Not negotiable. Let all central bankers speak out!”

He has since deleted the tweets.

A statement from the South African presidency said Ramaphosa “strongly reprimanded” Mboweni following his comments.

He assured the Zambian government that the minister’s “unfortunate remarks do not reflect the views of the South African government” and the “issue is being addressed to ensure that such an incident does not occur again”.

A former World Bank executive director, Kalyalya’s tenure was due to end in 2023.

He was replaced by a deputy secretary to the cabinet, Christopher Mvunga.

Zambian Information Minister Dora Siliya expressed surprise at Mboweni’s “immature and improper criticism of a sovereign decision by Zambia”.

She urged Mboweni to rather focus on coronavirus “problems facing” South Africa.

At nearly 610,000 cases and over 13,000 deaths, South Africa has recorded the highest numbers of coronavirus infections on the continent, accounting for more than half of Africa’s total tally.

Zambia has recorded 10,831 cases, of which 279 have been fatal.

AFP

NASS Leadership Meet With Finance Minister Over 2020 Budget Amendment

 

The Leadership of the National Assembly on Thursday met with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to be briefed by the latter on the plan by the Federal Government to amend the N10.59 trillion 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly in December last year.

The meeting which had in attendance principal officers from both chambers was presided over by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Senate President, in his welcome address, told the Executive arm of Government to ensure that the interest of Nigerians remains protected in the proposed cut to the 2020 national budget.

READ ALSO: Presidency Reveals How Buhari Will Tackle Nigeria’s Weak Health System

Lawan also expressed the willingness of the Federal lawmakers to expeditiously consider the proposed amendment to the 2020 budget which the Minister said would be presented to the National Assembly by next week.

“The budget amendment is very important, but I believe that when we are faced with this kind of challenge (COVID-19 pandemic), it is an emergency and we should do everything and anything possible to fast track the passage and implementation of the government intervention that is so critical and crucial at this stage.

“I believe that we shouldn’t delay it any longer. Next week, and I will suggest the early part of next week, we should have that document(MTEF) ready so that we can consider it alongside the budget. It is supposed to be the tonic of what Nigerians are waiting for.

“We have listened to the various adjustments you have made to avoid going into recession. However, to avoid going into a deeper recession, I think we need to do a little bit much more.

“After this meeting with the leadership, I suggest that you engage with our relevant committees in the Senate and House of Representatives to look at the nitty-gritty that would be considered more in detail at the presentation level.

“On the whole, let me assure you that the National Assembly and Executive arm are on the same page, and that is to say that we will work to ensure that we have a budget 2020 amendment that will address the needs of the people of this country.

“One thing is that the net public expenditure must be targeted at net maximum performance for the benefit of the people of this country.

“In other words, we must come up with an amended budget that is operable and favorable to Nigerians,” Lawan said.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, called on the Federal Government to adopt a feasible benchmark in the proposed amendment to the 2020 budget.

“The benchmark is so critical and so important because once you passed the law, it becomes difficult to adjust that benchmark, and then what happens to the excess?

“We have always had problems with the Excess Crude Account, potentially an account which has no backing of the law. So, let’s even assume that the price remains static at $35, which means we have $10 going to the Excess Crude Account which we have no control over in terms of spending, that is why we guard that benchmark price very jealously.

“Is there a possibility of having a provisio built-in in the budget…So that there can be an automatic kick in if the benchmark price goes beyond $26 or $27. We want you to explore that possibility.

“So, I think you should study the market and see what happens next week by the time you present the adjusted budget,” Gbajabiamila said.

Speaking on Nigeria’s debt profile, the Speaker said, “I would also want to address the issue of our deficit and tie it with the issue of debt relief. I’m not sure I heard any presentation on how much we owe and how much we are paying back in this budget.

“The reason I asked is that at the moment, I believe, for want of a better word, some of our creditors are very vulnerable right now. And depending on how you package your case, I believe they should be the ones coming to beg you to take debt relief, if not outright cancellation.”

Earlier, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, while briefing the leadership of the National Assembly said, “the US$57 crude oil price benchmark approved in the 2020 budget is no longer sustainable.”

The minister said further that: “it is necessary to reallocate resources in the 2020 budget, to ensure the effective implementation of required emergency measures, and mitigate the negative socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ahmed stated that in line with the global economic outlook and relevant domestic considerations, the assumptions underpinning the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2020 Budget was revised to slash crude oil benchmark price from US$57 per barrel to US$25 per barrel; reduce crude oil production benchmark from 2.18 million barrels per day to 1.9 mbpd.

She added that the federal government also adjusted the budget exchange rate to N360/US$1; and reduced the upfront fiscal deductions by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for mandated Oil and Gas sector expenditures by 65 percent from N1.223 trillion to N424 billion.

She disclosed that the amount available for funding the 2020 Budget is now estimated at N5.548 trillion, down from N8.419 trillion, a revised revenue estimate which is 34 percent (N2.87 trillion) lower than what was initially approved.

Federal Government’s aggregate expenditure budget was slashed by N88.412 billion; Statutory Transfer from N560.47 billion to N397.87 billion; and Overhead costs of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government from N302.43 billion to N240.91 billion.

Debt Service provision was, however, increased from N2.453 trillion to N2.678 trillion.

On Provision of N500 billion for COVID-19 Intervention Fund, the Finance Minister in her presentation explained that N263.63 billion will be sourced from Federal Government Special Accounts, N186.37 billion from Federation Special Accounts and the balance of N50 billion expected as grants and donations.

According to her, “the sum of N186.37 billion will be applied toward COVID-19 interventions across the federation, while an additional N213.60 billion was provided in the Service Wide Votes for COVID-19 Crisis Intervention recurrent expenditures.”

She disclosed that while a total of N100.03 billion was provisioned in the Intervention Fund for new capital spending, the Federal Government carried out a cut in capital expenditures for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government from N1.564 trillion to N1.262 trillion.

FG To Amend 2020 Budget Oil Benchmark To $20pb

 

Plans are ongoing by the Federal Government to review the 2020 budget to reflect an oil benchmark of $20 per barrel.

A report by Reuters quoted the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this on Tuesday during a web conference about the impact of low oil prices on Nigeria’s economy.

A further downward revision will mean that the Federal Government has now dropped the benchmark from an initial $57 per barrel to $30.

The report said Mrs Ahmed also intimated on plans by FG to cut oil production to 1.7 million barrels per day (mbpd), from the 2.1 mbpd previously proposed in the budget.

“We are in the process of an amendment that is bringing down the revenue indicator to $20 per barrel.”

Other key highlights from the conference include; plans to defer debt service obligations to 2021 and beyond until macro conditions improve.

An 80% drop in estimated net oil & gas revenue available for Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) distribution to N1.1 trillion against the N5.5 trillion previously earmarked.

A marginal drop in Customs projected revenue to N1.2 trillion in 2020 from the previous N1.5 trillion.

While the amount accruable to the federation account is now projected at N3.9 trillion from the initial N8.6 trillion.

The government is also looking at providing support for the aviation sector as part of measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.

Why Nigeria Is Borrowing $3.4bn From IMF – Finance Minister

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has explained why Nigeria is borrowing $3.4bn from the International Monetary Fund.

In an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today Programme, the minister said the loan will help in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and regulating the crash in crude oil prices.

The minister also said that the money will support the budget and stabilize the country’s economy especially the revenue from oil and gas.

“The financial package is for assistance to curb this COVID-19 pandemic and the shock that we have had in terms of the crash in the crude oil prices.

“It’s broad, it will support the budget,  stabilize the economy from the significant decline in the revenues from oil and gas as well as large expenditure to manage the health crisis”.

Ahmed said that the loan is to be paid within five years with an interest cost of one percent.

“This $3.4bn loan is to be paid over a period of five years but before the payment starts, we have a moratorium of three and a quarter year which makes it about eight and quarter years.

“It is a facility with an interest cost of one percent”.

On the structure of the loan whether the Federal Government will be getting the naira equivalent while the Central Bank of Nigeria will be getting the dollar equivalent, the minister explained that the loan is a dollar currency loan which will come into a special account that will be opened in the CBN and be accessed and converted into Naira.

“It is a dollar currency loan so it will come into a special account that we will be opened in the CBN.

“The loan will be accessed and converted into naira.

“Yes, it is coming into the CBN as dollars but the amount we are using will be in naira”.

READ ALSO: IMF Approves $3.4bn For Nigeria’s COVID-19 Fight

The minister assured Nigerians that the funds will be used judiciously for the purpose of health, social development, and breaching the revenue gap that has affected the economy.

She added that the National Assembly will be exact in the use of these funds.

The board of the IMF had on Tuesday approved the sum of $3.4 billion to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 fight.

The assistance, facilitated via the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), will help limit the decline in Nigeria’s international reserves, the IMF said.

The money will help to provide financing for the country’s budget, which has been severely affected by falling oil prices triggered by the pandemic and price wars.

The IMF praised the Nigerian government’s “immediate” response to the crisis, describing it as “welcome.”

However, it noted that short-term focus should be on higher health spending and palliative for households and businesses.

The financial body also said Nigeria should take steps to unify its exchange rate as quickly as possible.

After the COVID-19 crisis passes, Nigeria’s “focus should remain on medium-term macroeconomic stability, with revenue-based fiscal consolidation essential to keep Nigeria’s debt sustainable and create fiscal space for priority spending,”, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of the IMF, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa said.

The emergency financial assistance to Nigeria is the highest so far in any member country.