Nigerian Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun on Thursday said that Nigeria is technically in a recession.
However, she also made it clear that is doing her best to ease the situation for Nigerians.
She appeared before the Senate saying that although the current situation in Nigeria is tough, there is no cause for alarm.
“Things are tough, but we are not ignorant,” Mrs. Adeosun said. “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.”
Her statement is coming days after the National Bureau of Statistics said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation reached 16.5 %. This caused Nigerians to panic as the western African country has not experienced such a high index in 11 years.
Not only did the inflation rate upset Nigerians, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut Nigeria’s growth forecast from 2.3 percent in April to – 1.8 percent– the lowest in 29 years. The IMF also added that Nigeria’s economy is likely to contract this year.
Kemi Adeosun, however, sought to allay the fears of Nigerians stating that “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?”
“Technically, Nigeria is in recession but we should not go into definition; but what we are doing?”
She added that strategies are being employed to revive the economy, among which is the regulation of government expenditure. She gave figures to back her words.
She stated that this cut has resulted in the cost of salaries being reduced from N165 billion to N159 billion, and capital-recurrent expenditure ratio had been restructured from 10:90 percent to 30:70.
“We are declaring war on wastes,” she said. “The objective is to release money for capital expenditure to get the economy going.”
She also stated that Nigeria could no longer rely on oil and the government is working to attract investment.