……says “I think with what we are doing, we would begin to turn the corner I believe by Quarter three”
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun,has admitted that the nation is going through a recession.
Mrs Adeosun, who was speaking during the plenary session of the Senate on Thursday inn Abuja, said the Federal Government is aware of the sufferings the recession may have caused Nigerians but added that steps have been taken to ensure that the nation gets out of its economic challenge.
Adeosun while briefing the senators on measures adopted to bail out the economy from the woods ,said that the Federal Government has released N247.9 billion in the last two months for capital expenditure.
She said that another N60 billion would also be released for capital vote in the next few weeks.
She also appealed to Nigerians not to panic over recent reports of international agencies, which puts the nation’s economy in a bad light but to believe in the policies of government geared towards achieving a stable economy.
She told the lawmakers what the government is doing to ensure fiscal discipline in the face of the recession, key amongst which is the reduction in recurrent expenditure
The Minister also told the lawmakers that N14 billion has been released for the Social Intervention Programme, while a total of N247 billion capital releases has been made and expressed confidence that these will stimulate economic activities.
She added that the sum of N74 billion was released to the Works Ministry, stressing that all the releases, had been fully cash backed.
She said that Nigerians should not dwell on the recession but rather on where the country is going through the measures being taken to save the economy.
Adeosun said: “Is Nigeria in recession? Technically, if you go into two quarters 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 Quarter three”
“We are not the only country in recession, many countries are doing far worse than us. But for Nigeria, what Nigerians want to know is ‘how’s that going to affect me’ and I want to assure everybody that what we are doing is going to work and it’s going to turn this economy around.
She appealed to the lawmakers to continue to believe in the ability of the country to recover from the economic problems.
She retorted, “I am not too worried about the IMF projection, I will tell you why because IMF job and function 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. ”