Coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that the Nigerian economy is shaky despite the official fundamentals and that drastic steps are needed to save it from collapse.
She stated this on Tuesday at a closed door meeting of the 50th meeting of the 15-member federal government Economic Implementation Team at the presidential villa.
The team is headed by the minister, and meets every week. It was established by President Goodluck Jonathan to oversee the effective implementation of decisions of the Economic Management Team chaired by the president.
Other members of the committee are the ministers of petroleum resources, power, agriculture, trade and investment, works and health as well as the ministers of state for finance and health, the chief economic adviser to the president, the special adviser to the president (monitoring and evaluation), the director-general of the Budget Office, the director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
At Tuesday’s meeting, a presidency source, according to Premium Times, said, the minister painted a gloomy picture of the economy and hinted that there was an urgent need for “stringent budgetary measures” to arrest the downward slide.
Although the meeting was convened to review the government’s plan to create 3.5 million jobs in the agriculture sector and consider the report of a subcommittee on the automotive industry, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala could not hold back on the disturbing prospect of the economy.
The minister explained that crude oil production now hovers around a disturbing 1.3 million barrels per day, a figure far lower than that seen during the height of the protracted militancy in the Niger Delta.