Zainab Ahmad, Nigeria’s minister of finance, budget, and national planning, says that the rising inflation has stolen the shine from Nigeria’s growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She stated that Nigerians are not feeling the positive impact of the growth rate due to the growing inflation, particularly food, and transportation inflation.
She spoke at the 28th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.
“We constantly say we have witnessed seven consecutive quarter a of growth, it is the truth, but the growth has not permeated to the citizens as they are still buying food in high prices from the market so we need to look at how we can reduce the high cost of food prices.
“That means we need to look at how we can better handle inflation because inflation in Nigeria today.”
“The highest push of inflation is the food components and the food inflation is driven largely by high cost of transportation, which is also driven by high cost of energy.
“So we must address that energy source by diversifying the type of energy that we use, not just generally, but for transportation and also be able to expand the transportation sector itself,” she said.
In addition, the minister stressed the importance to diversify the economy base of the country, citing slow progress in key sectors including Agriculture.
According to her, none of the sectors are growing high enough as expected “except for information and technology sector that continues to grow on a consistent way.”
“Agriculture sector has been reporting growth but it has been slow, that is what we believe.
“We need to be able to really grow agriculture on an exponential basis and it means we have to concentrate on not only production but also processing and exporting agricultural produce to be able to earn foreign exchange,” she said.