Nigeria is too big fail! That was the central message of the country’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun to the international financial audience yesterday.
Speaking on the sideline of the plenary session of the 2016 IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington DC on Friday, the finance minister declared that “Nigeria is too big to fail and too significant in the region to underperform”.
She vowed that the federal government would do all within its power to rescue the economy from the current free fall.
Mrs. Adeosun was reacting to calls by the World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim and the IMF Managing Director, Ms. Christine Largard, for Nigeria to invest massively in infrastructure.
She said: “what we are trying to do is to rewrite Nigeria’s economic story so that we can grow, and to grow we need critical infrastructure like power, transport, housing.
“These are where we are redirecting expenditure from our recurrent where we thought there have been a lot of waste and leakages”.
Government, she added is “redirecting spending to capital to create long term value.It’s tough in the short term but the long term benefits will be there for the future generation, we are confident of getting back to growth.
“If we invest in critical infrastructure there will be increased productivity, which will lead to job creation and prosperity for our people and it is very comforting to hear this coming from the highest levels that that is the way to go”.
The finance minister stressed that Nigeria has aligned with the views of the multilateral institutions with regards to inclusive growth, stating that inclusive growth is one of the objectives of this administration to end poverty.
Government, she noted is “investing heavily in education and as part of our social intervention programme we aim to engage more young graduates into primary schools because education,I’m sure, we will be soon start seeing improvements in our education indices.”
Also speaking, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the three pronged comprehensive approach of monetary, fiscal and structural reforms “is the way everybody has to go and we are doing that in Nigeria.
“There is serious collaboration between the monetary and fiscal authorities and if we continue in this direction we will achieve these objectives”.