By Hauwa Gambo
The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has commenced a two-day, non-deal tour to update European investors on the political and economic position of Nigeria.
As a result of the volatile security situation in the country, international investors, especially those with stake in Nigeria’s Eurobond have become very nervous. This is coupled with the fact that many are worried President Jonathan does not have the stuff to push tough reforms through in the country.
Speaking to the IFR in an interview, the minister stated, “I disagree with these analysts [who are downgrading forecasts]. They always try to talk down Nigerian growth.”
She said the economy of Nigeria is to grow 7% to 8% this year and that the government is committed to phasing out subsidies. “We’re carrying out strong reforms, such as transformation of the port, deregulation of the power sector and opening up of the agricultural sector. All in all the prospects are good,” said Iweala who also works as a Coordinating Minister of the Economy.
She cited GE’s intentions to invest in manufacturing in the country and a US trade mission’s intention to invest $ 1.5 billion as proof that investors are not avoiding Nigeria.