In this interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said this will be a difficult year for Nigeria financially because of the cash crunch we are experiencing, but said with the financial assets the current administration has been able to build over the years, our cash flow will improve over time.
“Under this administration we began the work of truly diversifying the economy and the proof of that is that much of the growth in this past few years that has come to the country has come not from the oil sector but actually from non-oil sectors like Agriculture, telecommunications, manufacturing, the creative industries. The fact that oil prices fell by 50% makes it very difficult in terms of cash flow but Nigeria is asset rich and that is why when people say the country is broke I say no. In economic terms, with the kind of assets we have we should be able to realize some of them to improve our cash flow but it is true that this will be a very difficult year because of the cash crunch. However we need to see this drop in oil prices as an opportunity. I gave a talk on Nigeria beyond oil. I really think with the growth of the country based on non-oil sectors, we ought to see the fall in oil prices as an opportunity to further the diversification that has started under this administration” she said