Washington DC - The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the ministry was yet to analyse the 2014 budget that was recently passed by the National Assembly.
Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this when she briefed the media on the Nigerians participation at the Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.
“We think that we have also come into the meeting with very strong fundamentals and that has also played to our benefits in terms of our budget that has now been passed.”
“Even though, they added a little, our fiscal deficit has moved from 1.9 per cent to 2.01 per cent and I think our parameters look good.”
“We haven’t analysed what is in there, we haven’t seen the details, we are here, I really don’t want to comment more.”
“But that is the one we have seen and we quickly calculated it and shared it,” Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said.
According to her, with the development in the global environment, government needs to continue to rebuild the fiscal buffers.
She said that Euro zones were still faced with uncertainties, adding that the zones had said they would inject more stimuli to strengthen its system.
The minister said that countries had been advised to rebuild its fiscal buffers in case of the uncertainty that might be witnessed at anytime.
“That means we have to rebuild our reserves and excess crude account to shore up ourselves, which is what we are doing.”
“We have to maintain very solid macro-frame work because of our ties to Euro zones due to what is happening there,” she said.
On the “rebasing” of the Nigerian Gross Domestic Products (GDP), she said Nigeria came into the meeting with the rebasing that was favourably welcome by many delegates and participants.
According to her, the fact that Nigeria has a better measurement of its GDP and base, bring about a lot of interest among participants.
“Even some private sector has come to show more interest to investing in Nigerian economy, for instance Blumberg grain has already sent a team to Nigeria working with Minister of Agriculture.”
“They want to make Nigeria the hub for grain storage, cold storage and agriculture logistics in Africa; they want to invest 250 million dollars.”
“So, they have a team, the fact that we have the largest economy in Africa is making them feel that this may be the place to place the hub,” she said.
Okonjo-Iweala said that if Nigeria handled it right and the decision made, Nigeria would have a lot to benefit from it.
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