Finance minister insists Nigeria has ‘credible plan’ to deal with crisis




The federal government remains hopeful of an economic
revival the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun has said,
even as the country slides into recession.
Low global oil prices have helped push Nigeria's economy
into its worst economic crisis in decades. Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) shrank 0.4 per cent in the first quarter while
second-quarter growth figures – expected this week – are
to reflect a deepening crisis due mainly to lower oil
receipts amid militant attacks in the Niger Delta.
Adeosun told the Financial Times that the government did
not dispute the IMF's forecast last week that the economy
would contract 1.8 per cent. “We're simply saying that we
have a very credible plan for dealing with the challenges
we are facing, which we've been very honest about,” she
said.
Although Adeosun thinks “there is still a long way to go”,
the government is convinced that “diversifying and
repositioning” the oil-dependent economy will bear fruit.
Part of that diversification includes the agricultural sector,
where a boost in output is expected this year.
“Aggressive” management of food price inflation, which
includes low cost loans to farmers and improved
distribution of fertiliser, will help bridge the shortfall in oil
revenues.
Meanwhile, Adeosun has also called on Nigerians in the
Diaspora to see the current economic realities in the
country as good opportunities for them to participate
actively in the ongoing efforts to reposition the nation's
economy.
Speaking at the 2016 Diaspora Conference in Abuja,
yesterday, the minister described Diaspora as a major part
of the Nigerian Community, which has a key role to play at
this critical time. Stressing the need for a collective action,
the minister said, “What Nigeria needs now is Economic
Patriotism that will support this administration's efforts to
reposition the economy.”
She stated, “We must never become so comfortable
abroad that we forget, or worse still, despise our roots.
Rebuilding Nigeria is an important mission for the next
generation, who deserve the chance of a Nigeria that
provides opportunities for them.”
According to the her, “Other diaspora communities retain
strong links to their motherland and we must do so in
order to retain the fabric of our families and our value
system.”
She pointed out that the current administration is
rebuilding Nigeria based on fundamental values that
shaped the childhood of many people but which were
sadly abandoned by a few in pursuit of aggrandisement
wealth that they can never spend. Those fundamental
values, according to her, include hard work, enterprise,
honesty,and self-reliance.
Calling for understanding and patience on the part of the
citizens, Adeosun explained that fundamental shifts need
time to be developed properly with adequate windows for
consultation before they can be successfully implemented.
“However, once implemented they will be permanent in
ensuring that we maximise all our endowments to
compliment oil, rather than relying on oil which has
created ‘economic laziness',” she stated.

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