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FG now sensitive to borrowing – Okonjo-Iweala

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Sunday, May 05, 2013 | 5/05/2013 10:04:00 am

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Friday put the country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio at 19 per cent, saying with this figure, the Federal Government is now
allergic to borrowing.

She made this declaration when a group of British investors led by Lord Mayor of the City of London, Mr. Roger Gifford, visited her at the ministry in Abuja.

The British investors are in Nigeria to explore investment opportunities in the country.

A statement from the ministry stated that the minister used the occasion to inform the delegation that Nigeria was now the best investment destination in Africa.

With a foreign reserve of about $50bn, a stable exchange rate, strong banking sector, massive human and natural resources, Okonjo-Iweala explained that Nigeria had become one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world.

She informed the British delegation that Nigeria was currently the largest economy in West Africa, the second largest in Africa with a potential to become the largest African economy in the next five years.

However, she said in spite of the huge success, there were other challenges confronting the nation.

Some of them, according to him, are unemployment, poor infrastructure, corruption, governance challenge and power.

She said Nigeria was, however, not relenting in tackling the challenges through several reforms at various sectors.

“Okonjo-Iweala, while detailing the steps so far taken to address the challenges, said through the Transformation Agenda of the present administration, Nigeria had tried to diversify the economy, instead of depending on oil as the only source of income.

“Agriculture and entertainment have been given enough priority owing to their capacity to create jobs for Nigeria’s teaming unemployed youths,” the statement added.

The minister commended the investors for their interest in Nigeria, stating that the country remained a safe and sound economy with the huge investment opportunities.

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