The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said the Federal Government has a long way to go in fixing the economy. Adeosun disclosed this on Wednesday while fielding questions from State House reporters after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. Responding to a question on report by the National Bureau of Statistics which indicated that the economy was in a recession, Adeosun said: “It’s the worst possible time for us. Are we confused? Absolutely not.
“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 knew 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’re 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 times are confusing but we are not confused. We are extremely focused. We know that if we can 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 to 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 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-push inflation and when you have cost-push 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.”