Broken, Looted Economy: Get Ready For Suffering – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Tells Nigerians

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Nigerians should brace for tougher economic times ahead, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said as crude oil prices slipped to a four year low on Wednesday.

New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) December WTI oil futures sold at $75.20 per barrel on Wednesday, down $1.98, from $74.96 per barrel the previous day, the lowest level for a most-active contract since September 2010.

Though the price of sweet crude, the blend of oil export from Nigeria, rose marginally at the close of trading on Wednesday to $76.96 per barrel, it has already crashed below the $79 per barrel benchmark approved in the 2014 Appropriation Act, concerns are mounting that tough times are indeed ahead.

At the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for September, Federal, States and Local Governments were only able to go home with N603.5 billion allocation after they resolved to borrow about $2.76 billion from the Excess Crude Revenue Account to augment shortfall in revenue generated during the period.

The Federal Government had attributed the declining revenues to the fall in prices at the international oil market.

After drawing from the ECA, Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, said the balance in the account had dropped further from $4.1 billion to about $1.34 billion at the moment.

But Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said in Lagos on Tuesday that the economic indicators show there are tougher times ahead.

Though she said the country’s External Reserves rose from $36.6billion at the end of June to $39.48billion by October 16, and the balance in the Sovereign Wealth Fund at $1.55billion, accruals from oil exports have been poor.

According to her, Nigeria would begin to feel the impact of the dropping oil prices at the international oil market, which commenced since the first half of the year.

“The country must brace up for tougher times ahead”, she said. “We need to review our expenditures and build economic buffers through budgets that would be based on modest oil prices.”

She underlined the importance of a sound macro-economic management to Nigeria at this time, particularly the need to plug all revenue leakages.

“We have not yet seen the impact of the falling oil prices in Nigeria. It will start this month. We have to drive the non-oil revenue base to be able to weather the storm that is coming,” the Minister said.

The minister said the fall in the prices of export commodities such as gold, iron ore and agricultural produce such as cocoa, cotton and coffee was bound to affect most African economies, which relied on commodity export for the sustenance of their economies.

PT

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of NewsRescue
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9 comments

  1. Prince Shakee Jokosanya 15 November, 2014 at 14:20 Reply

    Nigerians have never felt the impact of any rise in oil prices, so they may not even notice the price fall. They never knew hw much of their oil was exported and never knew hw much was made. The only ppl the price fall will affect are the thieves who are gaining from it. Deziani, Jonathan, okonjo uweala, it is u guys that needs to get ready for tough times. Woe betide u all

  2. Mohstone 15 November, 2014 at 17:27 Reply

    Tougher times ??? Well may be for the thieves in Govt. The masses have been going through tougher times throughout this regime so its nothing new. Afterall, the major beneficiaries are the thieves up there.

  3. Auta Adamu 16 November, 2014 at 09:17 Reply

    madam are excess crude monet for years that were made. we nigerians have never felt the impact and why should we find difficulties of a sudden? How can the largersr economy fail in just a matter of week.Madam you have been decieving nigerians on the true situation of the economy. These deciet can never take us anywhere but God will certainly judge us one day continue.

  4. Isah Oseghe 16 November, 2014 at 12:14 Reply

    What makes okonjo thinks nigeria will suffer d economic draw back? What other suffering can d Nigerians suffer than d neglects from its own govt. Continue to eat our money, when it finishes u will be d ones to suffer it. Bcos there wont be anything for u & ur cronies to steal anymore. Then ur lifestyle will become worse than the street beggars u & ur cronies have neglected. Oloshi olori buruku gbogbo.

  5. Malami Shehu 16 November, 2014 at 19:46 Reply

    When the righteous and the honest people are in authority the people rejoice, but when the heartless and the greedy are in position example (P D P) the people groan and become weary.it is a wisdom for the privileged people to know that even the citizen below the ladder have some measure of responsibility..

    • Concerned Citizen 9 March, 2015 at 20:29 Reply

      Sorry bro, Jonathan is the president, and as the president the bucks stops with him. Its not about party politics….

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