Following the declaration by the nation’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, that Nigeria’s economy is in a state of confusion as it is heading straight for recession, the finance minister has calmed the citizens as she said the nation is in good and capable hands.
Kemi Adeosun while speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided by President, Muhammadu Buhari admitted that the nation is in its worst possible time.
She said: “It’s the worst possible time for us. Are we confused? Absolutely not. How are we going to get ourselves out of this recession. One, we must make sure that we diversify our economy. There are too many of us to keep on relying on oil.
“We can see what happened at the output data of the oil and gas sector. What’s happening in the Niger delta has dragged down the GDP of the entire economy. We’re too dependent on oil whereas 87 percent of our GDP is oil. So let us drive those other areas
“We have to invest in capital projects. No, we are not confused, the time is confusing but we are not confused. We are extremely focused. We know that if we can just bare and get through this difficult period, Nigeria is going to be better for it.”
Adeosun who was at the press briefing with the Ministers of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi; Information, Lai Mohammed and Education, Adamu Adamu further noted that “if we rely on oil and the price of oil remains low and the quantity of oil remains low, we can’t grow. We have to grow our non-oil economy. I think we that we have a long way to go.
“We’re not confused and we’re not deceiving ourselves that everything is rosy. It’s not. It’s a difficult time for Nigeria but I think Nigeria is in the right hands and if we can stick with our strategy. We still have some adjustments to make. I think we need to make some adjustments in monetary policy. It’s quite clear we do and we will do that. We’re working on that. We need to try and find a way to support the manufacturing sector better and we will do that.”
Addressing the inflation rates in the country as published by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Adeosun stated that the level of inflation experienced in the country is cost-pushed.
“And when you have cost-push inflation, it is structural inflation. It is not going to respond to monetary policy tools such as increasing the rate of interest. We have to address the structural causes of the inflation.”
Opening up on plans by the Federal Government to tackle the current economic situation, the Finance minister noted that the FEC had on Wednesday approved an external three-year rolling borrowing plan which will be submitted to the National Assembly.