The Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala, has allayed fears over the state of economy and stressed that it is growing positively, in spite of the reduction of oil price in the international market.
The renowned economist disclosed this on Tuesday at the 2014 Ministerial Platform in Abuja.
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.’’
The minister, who was once considered as President of the World Bank 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.’