The Next Finance Minister Will Face A Difficult Year – Okonjo-Iweala

Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said her successor will face a “difficult” year because of plunging oil revenues. She therefore stressed that the economy needs expert management to come out fine.

“We have a serious situation with a cash crunch,” she told Bloomberg in an interview in Cape Town, South Africa at the World Economic Forum on Africa. “But fundamentally, the economy is strong. If we can get through the cash crunch, manage the way through, build on some of the assets we have, by next year, things will be better.”

Fall in global oil prices have put Nigeria in a bad financial position with authorities forced to cut spending and states relying solely on allocation from the federal government owing workers salaries for months. The government relies on oil for about 75 percent of its income.

Okonjo-Iweala said the next finance minister must focus on “a strong policy, the fiscal consolidation path that we have and looking toward diversification of revenue resources”.

Like several other Nigerians, the former minister says she is waiting for the new finance minister to be named.

Now out of a job after her tenure as minister ended, Okonjo-Iweala said she plans to take a break until August and will then consider her career options.

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