Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has called for urgent revamping of the excess crude account which she noted has been heavily depleted.
Okonjo-Iweala made the call on Friday in Asaba in a paper titled ''Nigeria in the world economy'', presented at the on-going second South-South Economic summit.
The minister stated that the excess crude account, which rescued the country’s economy from collapse in 2008 during the global meltdown, needed to be rejuvenated.
She disclosed that in spite of 7.36 per cent growth of the nation’s economy in 2011, the Federal Government was not happy, as the growth had not reflected positively in the living conditions of ordinary Nigerians.
The minister also expressed worry at the growing number of unemployed Nigerians, saying that every year additional 1.8 million applicants join the labour market.
Okonjo-Iweala noted that unemployment has remained a global phenomenon.
In Nigeria, she said, 43.9 per cent of the populations were unemployed, with unemployed youths accounting for 38 per cent.
She emphasised that the problem in Europe would affect Nigeria’s economy which depends on one product as its major revenue earner, and said the nation must diversify.
The minister observed that Nigeria has no robust food prices, which had risen by 23 per cent since 2008.
She revealed that presently the country spends N90 billion annually on the importation of fish.
Okonjo-Iweala assured that the Federal Government was facing the challenges through budget discipline and micro economic policies.
In addition, the minister said that the government had also adopted new approaches to develop agriculture, housing, infrastructure, creative industry, as well as ports and the power sector.