Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nigeria is not broke- Okonjo-Iweala

22 October 2014, 06:59

Abuja - The Minister of Finance, Dr 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.

Also Read: Okonjo-Iweala assures of effective management of Nigeria’s economy
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 dollars to 38 dollars.”

“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 stablise 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.”

Also Read: Nigeria is the benchmark for Africa

“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.

-    NAN


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...