Coronavirus: Nigeria's finance minister says citizens should see the killer disease as a headwind for wakeup to life without oil

Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria's Minister of Finance,
  • Nigeria says a combination of crude oil price crash and coronavirus will put a severe strain on 2020 budget revenue, forex, and many sectors.
  • Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, urges citizens to see the killer disease as a menace rather than spreading panic and speculation in the economy.
  • Ahmed says the government is working to strengthen our macroeconomic fundamentals.

The Nigerian government has advised citizens to see the killer disease, coronavirus (COVID-19), as the headwinds that could reinforce the wake-up call to life without oil rather than spreading panic and speculation in the economy.

Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, stated this at a Consultative Roundtable on the 'Impact of COVID 19' on the Nigerian economy organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020.

At the event, themed, 'Going for Growth 2.0' held at the CBN headquarters, the minister encouraged Nigerians to out hands together to weather the storm.

"We need to put our hands together to weather the storm. We need to work together to take the opportunities provided by this very harsh reality. We are working as a government to strengthen our macroeconomic fundamentals. Today is far stronger and more robust than in 2014-2016."

"There is no doubt that the combination of a crude oil price crash and coronavirus will put a severe strain on our budget revenue, forex, and many sectors, we are drastically reviewing the budget as well as redoubling our effort to raise revenue and plug the leakages and intensify engagement and support of sub-national entities and the private sector in our economic recovery and growth programs."

She said the government is already working on how to mobilise local savings and has formed a committee to fashion out a National Savings Policy.

On Thursday, Nigerian naira slumped to N380 per dollar as uncertainties continue the outbreak of coronavirus and declines in oil prices. The fall in oil price has turned global equities to red, with the Nigerian stock exchange losing more than 12% this year alone. It has also fixed Nigeria into a tight corner, threatening 2020 appropriation plans.

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