Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun spoke to newsmen recently after the economy slipped into recession for the first time in more than 20 years.
Adeosun spoke with State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council meeting held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“It’s the worst possible time for us. Are we confused? Absolutely not,” the minister said.
She identified some of the ways the country could get out of recession to include diversification of the economy and investing in capital projects.
She said, “How are we going to get ourselves out of this recession. One, we must make sure that we diversify our economy. There are too many of us to keep on relying on oil.
“We can see what happened at the output data of the oil and gas sector. What’s happening in the Niger Delta has dragged down the GDP of the entire economy. We are too dependent on oil, whereas 87 percent of our GDP is non oil. So let us drive those other areas
“We have to invest in capital projects. No, we are not confused, the time are confusing but we are not confused. We are extremely focused. We know that if we can just bare and get through this difficult period, Nigeria is going to be better for it.
“If we rely on oil and the price of oil remains low and the quantity of oil remains low, we can’t grow. We have to grow our non oil economy
“I think that we have a long way to go. We’re not confused and we’re not deceiving ourselves that everything is rosy. It’s not.
“It’s a difficult time for Nigeria but I think Nigeria is in the right hands and if we can stick with our strategy. We still have some adjustments to make. I think we need to make some adjustments in monetary policy.
“It’s quite clear we do and we will do that. We’re working on that. We need to try and find a way to support the manufacturing sector better and we will do that.
“What we have is cost-put inflation and when you have cost-put inflation it is structural inflation. It is not going to respond to monetary policy tools such as increasing the rate of interest. We have to address the structural causes of the inflation
“The trend, the rate of inflation growth has slowed down and that’s a good sign.”
Video Credits: OAK.TV