Supervising Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala raised alarm on Wednesday that Nigeria’s economy is in danger and under threat with the continuous draining of its Excess Crude Account (ECA).
The minister who was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, added that the depletion of the Excess Crude Account to about $2.5 billion, has made Nigeria and its economy more vulnerable and risky than it was in the past.
As a solution Iweala said, “We have tried to set the country’s main parameters in a very modest way. We have made our budget at a very reasonable benchmark price for oil.
“This is to shield us and to ensure we are not subjected to any volatility there may be in the oil markets.”
She predicted a 6.75% expansion in Nigeria’s economy this year, compared to a growth of 6.5% in 2013, adding, however, that increased growth has also fuelled rising inequality in the country over the years.
She said: “In Nigeria we are growing very fast, but that growth has come with increasing inequality and lack of inclusion of certain segments of the population.”
The Excess Crude Account has been depleted from $8.65 billion at the end of 2012 to $2.5 billion currently, while Nigeria’s external reserves dropped 11 per cent from last year’s peak of $48.85 billion, recorded in May.
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