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“Nigeria is not broke” – Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - Time Magazine - April 2014 - BellaNaija.com

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala, has assured Nigerians that the economy is growing positively in spite of the reduction of oil price in the international market.

Okonjo-Iweala, who stated this on Tuesday at the 2014 Ministerial Platform in Abuja, said the nation was not broke as being speculated in the media.

She said “if you look back two years ago, that title “is Nigeria broke” was written in a newspaper article, it is like people are trying to force Nigeria into brokerage.

“I think since two years, we have managed to keep things going, let me explain these; Nigeria is a country that depends on a stream of income.

“That income is being able to collect taxes from companies, individuals and our income is also based on selling a product and that product you take to market and you take whatever price a buyer is willing to pay.’’

According to her, government is doing everything within its power to ensure economic stability in the country.

She said that presently, government had been budgeting below the existing oil price to help build buffers in case of uncertainty.

“We are operating an economy that depends on a product that fluctuates with oil price and we don’t have the right to control the price.

“Just like you have in your own household, when the quantity diminishes or the price drops, you remember in 2007 to 2008, the price of oil dropped from $140 to $38.

“At that time, nobody asked if the country was broke because we had saved up 22 billion dollars in the Excess Crude Account and we were able to continue spending and to stabilise the economy.’’

The minister said that presently Nigeria was faced with fluctuations in quantity and price of oil, adding that it had affected the amount paid into government coffers.

“Does that mean that the country is broke? We still have resources that we depend on; we still have the ability to tax.

“Sometimes, things need to be a little tighter, easier and we just have to weather it and manage ourselves but that does not amount to the country being broke.’’

The finance minister said if government was not able to pay salaries to people and continue to manage, “then we can say that the country is broke but we have not gotten there yet.’’

She urged Nigerians to bear with the nature of the economy, adding that it was the reason every effort was challenged to ensure the economy was diversified.

Commenting on the management of the fiscal deficit, she said that the Ministry of Finance would continue to ensure that it was kept as narrow as possible.

She said that in 2013, the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ration was 1.4 per cent and 1.03 per cent in 2014 and projected to be one per cent in 2015 budget. .

She added that borrowing had been on the decline and external debt stood at N1.46 trillion or 14 per cent of the total debt.

The ministry had adopted prudence to debt management and Nigeria’s debt to GDP remained one of the lowest in the world.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

23 Comments

  1. bruno

    October 22, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I love mrs okonjo, but this woman talks like a corrupt person.

    • ak

      October 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Borrowing is on the decline?

      Is this why House of Reps just approved Jonathans $1 Billion loan request for “military hardware”?

      This woman must think we all live under rocks

  2. Duchess

    October 22, 2014 at 8:54 am

    This her head tie though never gets it right. By the way, Bruno is back!!!

  3. wisest duchess

    October 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Yeah right..tell that to my boss.

  4. Suwa

    October 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Nigeria is not broke and has never been or will be broke….we just have misappropriation and diversion of funds ministers!!!

  5. moo

    October 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

    dis woman;s fashion sense though.

  6. baby

    October 22, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Nigeria is not broke but the masses are broke! everyone seems to be lamenting this period,including the poor and the rich! e.g buhari who says he used his last money to pick up the presidential form,and was whining like a baby! the politicians have stacked up the monies in their accts,the money isn’t circulating!

    • marietta

      October 22, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Nigeria isn’t broke, yea right. what about the people? people have not been paid in months! i haven’t been paid in 3 months! things are getting really bad Ms Finance Minister, and no one is talking! something needs to be done. the year is almost ended, the masses need a miracle.

  7. coke

    October 22, 2014 at 11:34 am

    i have proof that u r a thief…

  8. paty

    October 22, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    den where d hell is d money?

  9. Frederick

    October 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Things will get smoother for Nigeria, I believe

  10. Yayi Boni

    October 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    But what is wrong with her wrist and arms? They are very very Thick… with meat…oooo

  11. James

    October 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Things will get smooth for Nigeria

  12. Adamazi

    October 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Who dressed her like this? The scarf is awful

  13. Diesel

    October 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    She looks @ talk like a psycho

  14. Diesel

    October 22, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Psycho

  15. Ijebu Boy

    October 23, 2014 at 3:50 am

    whether naija is broke or not, there is no way for ordinary citizens to know… it does not affect ordinary lives on the streets of Nigeria.

  16. Kolade S. Ayinde

    October 23, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Government can remove fuel subsidy without contention. How Government to set- up Subsidy Trust Fund and manage by trustee of not more than 10 persons.
    Nigerians from age of 2 years to open subsidy deposit accounts in any local bank of their choice.
    Fuel subsidy amount would now be paid into the Subsidy Trust Fund Account and then share to individual subsidy deposit accounts.
    The subsidy deposit account should not be available for cash draw down until after 36 months.
    Drawing from the subsidy deposit accounts should only be allowed to support:
    1. Education
    2. Health
    3. Feeding
    Federal, State, Local government and private investors can access the fund at a reasonable interest rate.
    Subsidy Trust Fund and Subsidy Deposit Accounts would bring light, justice and peace to Nigeria.

  17. Kolade S. Ayinde

    October 23, 2014 at 9:54 am

    We can use our gsm phones to conduct 2015 elections.
    Elections are about choices. It is possible to turn the gsm phone to a voting tool.
    It can be used to capture voters’ registration, accreditation and actual voting in the comfort of our homes, offices and anywhere. It could produce 95% reliability
    .
    Benefits:
    No stress
    Easy access
    Availability of audit trails
    Real time voting
    Efficient and effective
    Highly cost effective

    • tunmi

      October 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      and it creates a job opening for security against hackers

  18. Michael

    October 26, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Absolutely true, Naija can never be broke with all the huge investment opportunities that are available in the country
    naijainvestgateway.com

  19. Ivy

    December 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Everybody is hungry in Nigeria except the politicians family.mrs ngozi just respect your fake certificate

  20. Ivy

    December 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    We need a strong man that will kill all this politicians so that we Nigerians will start a new life…if not nothing will be done….

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