By Nuel Suji – Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun on Thursday disclosed that Nigeria is in technical recession.
Mrs Adeosun who made this known while appearing before Senate said efforts to allay public fears about the implication of the country’s troubled economy, saying “things are tough”, but there should be no panic.
She 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.”
Mrs. Adeosun told the lawmakers that there is nothing to fear about International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections about Nigeria’s economy.
“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, she said the government had devised strategic measures, chief of which is discipline regarding how public money is spent..
While Speaking in Red Chamber, she said, “We have being borrowing largely from the domestic market because we needed to get the exchange rate sorted out to enable us borrow from the international market.
” The international borrowings will begin to come in Q3 that is always our projections we would take initial money from Nigeria as we sorted things out and we go on the road to borrow internationally.
“I am not too worried about the IMF projection; I will tell you why because IMF job one of their functions is global economic surveillance. They equally issued a negative report on Britain as a result of Brexit.
“I don’t think we should panic every time IMF speaks. I think we need to be confident around what we are doing and where we are going. I remained extremely confident as I said around Nigeria, IMF has given their projections which is we may continue into negative territory and I am not sure what we have seen suggests that. Agriculture output seems to be going up.
“If you even look inflation which is very high, the month on that reduced and that tells you that things are moving in the right direction. If you look at what is happening in the petroleum sector before subsidy we are subsidising around 45 million dollars litres of fuel a day. Now without subsidy usage has dropped to 26 million litres so what does that tells you all the smuggling that was going out of the country based on the subsidy that we are providing have stopped those are real savings to the economy which we are now redirecting into the essentially infrastructure that will get this economy going.
“Is Nigeria in recession, technically if you go into two quotas of negative growth. Technically, we are in recession but I don’t think we should dwell on definitions I think we should really dwell on where we are going.
“I think if we are in recession what I will like to say is we are going to come out of it and it would be a very short one because the policies that we have would ensure that we don’t go below where we need to go and I think with what we are doing we would begin to turn the corner I believe by Q3.
“I can confirm there is no more subsidy its a market driven price and indeed one of the good things that we are now seeing is that prices have actually coming down there is now competition between filling stations for market share which is a good thing which means overtime the market would continue to correct itself.”