Following a closed door meeting between Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Senate on Tuesday, during which a gloomy picture of the Nigerian economy was painted (read full report here), Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun on Thursday admitted that the country’s economy is indeed in recession.
Appearing before the Senate, Adeosun who tried to downplay the effect of this development on the country attributed the problem to months of “negative growth”.
“ Things are tough, but we are not ignorant,” Mrs. Adeosun. “I want to assure Nigerians the economy is in good hands and we are absolutely doing our best. We want to assure Nigeria we are on the right path, we are on the right track,” she assured Nigerians.
Though he International Monetary Fund (IMF) had said on Tuesday that Nigeria’s economy would contract by 1.8 percent in 2016 after having forecast a 2.3-percent expansion in April, the minister said she was “not too worried” about the prediction, as the world body monitors global trends and had also warned about the impact of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
We should not be worried about IMF. We should be confident about what we are doing,” she said. “Technically, Nigeria is in recession but we should not go into definition; but what we are doing?”
To revive the economy, the minister said the government had devised strategic measures, chief of which is discipline regarding how public money is spent.
According to her, by cleaning spending, cost of salaries had been reduced from N165 billion to N159 billion, and that capital-recurrent expenditure ratio had been restructured to 30:70 “compared to previously when recurrent expenditure was 90 per cent and capital expenditure 10 per cent”.
“We are declaring war on wastes,” she said, disclosing the government had stopped funding nonessential items.
“The objective is to release money for capital expenditure to get the economy going.”
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