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Nigeria is not broke – Okonjo-Iweala

By on May 18, 2012

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has said that there is no financial crisis in the country.

The minister disclosed this to a delegation of members of the House Committee on Finance who visited the ministry yesterday in furtherance of their oversight function.

The minister blamed the current fiscal situation of delayed salaries, allowances and FAAC disbursements on the delay in inflow of government revenue.

She said, “There is no such thing as a financial crisis in the country. We have been having some issues with delay in money being disbursed on time for the Federation Account Allocation Committee’s meeting to hold.

“Nigeria is not broke. We have delays in money being disbursed, we are depending on a resource we sell in the market, we may not get the money right away, we sometimes have to wait for few days.”

“Nigeria is solvent. We have many assets, we are liquid. Everybody experiences this kind of situation from time to time, and when this happens, what do you do? You either look for other sources of fund or you adjust and wait for the money to come, and that is what we have been doing.”

She also revealed that the present daily crude export of Nigeria at 1.85 million barrels has fallen by 17% from the 1.96 million barrels projection for April.

“The main challenge that we are facing is that of declining crude oil output as a result of theft and smuggling. This is what we need to tackle because that has a direct impact on what we earn.

“Mr. President is taking all measures to curtail this phenomenon. For instance, in April, production dropped by 17 per cent. We need to face this challenge squarely.”

She said the President has put measures into place in order to checkmate the smugglingand oil theft affecting crude oil exports.