We Must Move Beyond Donating Money to Investing In People – Finance Minister

  • Minister urges stakeholders to key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision.
  • FG encourages investment in resilient communities

The Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Zainab Ahmed has said that there is a need for a shift from merely donating money to people to investing in people and their communities.

The minister made the call at Nexus II Summit which held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on Tuesday.

While expressing her delight to be at the summit which follows on from where the previous engagement ended in 2018, Ahmed advised Nexus II that as it begins the much needed second phase of engagement with Private Sector on investment discussions with financial institutions to key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty within the next ten years.

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“The vision for Nigeria, as outlined by President Buhari at the beginning of this government, is to lift 100 million people out of poverty within the next 10-year period. We can only do this through investment and financing for development.”

Ahmed lauded Nigeria’s development bank – the Bank of Industry for taking the initiative within the financial sector, and for moving from the handout model to the hand up, and for investing in people and in conflict-afflicted societies.

“By doing so, they have not only begun kickstarting economies in conflict-afflicted areas but also taking the first step to lifting these communities away from dependence and towards dignity and self-sustainability.

“This catalytic action will no doubt have a significant ripple effect through our financial sector.”

While noting that it is only by ensuring inclusivity that long-lasting solutions and peace can be achieved, the minister urged the stakeholders to look at ways of attracting financing from the private sector for development in order to ensure sustainable job creation for the youths all over Nigeria.

“We would, therefore, like to encourage investment in resilient communities by the private sector and particularly by financial institutions. It is also notable that Nigeria and Nigerian initiatives MUST go to scale. This is no time for pilot programmes, but as we move from reaching thousands of people to millions, we can only achieve this jointly by going to scale.

“In this spirit, I encourage the banking sector to take this initiative a step further, by crowding in financing and leveraging upon these initiatives to achieve results.

“To our development partners, we welcome your partnership and urge you to support the investment in resilient communities by employing existing de-risking mechanisms and instruments to further the type of development that Nigeria truly needs; helping Nigerians to help themselves. Building local capacity and working hand in hand with Nigerian led initiatives is what will enable true economic growth and financial stability.”

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The minister who is optimistic that the summit is not just another meeting but is a call to action pointed out that as a stakeholder, the federal government is committed to reform.

” In this area, the government is already taking strides to improve coordination in all areas; additionally we are committed to supporting investment in human capital development and entrepreneurship activity particularly in conflict and crisis-affected regions of our country.

“We are also committed to ensuring that the life of every citizen is positively impacted wherever they are across the nation.

“Today that step begins here as you deliberate on the actions needed to build resilient communities not just in areas affected by conflict and crisis but indeed across Nigeria,” she added.

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