Politics

Economic Crisis: I Apologise For The Pains Being Experienced By Nigerians—Budget Minister

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Abubakar Bagudu

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu has said that the policies of the Bola Tinubu-led government are on track despite the currency crisis and inflation which has frustrated economic growth.

Bagudu said this on Wednesday at the Ministerial Sectoral Update held in Abuja.

Under the slogan of ‘Renewed Hope Agenda,” the Tinubu government chose eight priority areas that would spur economic growth and prosperity for Africa’s biggest economy.

But since the administration took over the office in May 2023, the currency has depreciated from around N460 per dollar to N1480 while inflation has hit 33.69 per cent as of April 2024.

In April 2023, inflation was measured by the National Bureau of Statistics at 22.22 per cent.

However, the minister admitted in his address that both foreign exchange prices and inflation were still above target.

Bagudu said, “So what’s the answer to all of these? It’s to restore macroeconomic stability that will ensure that investors, both domestic and international put their face in our economy once again. And we are all doing this without a blame game.

“And I apologize for the pain that they may occasion, but they are necessary. So, not surprisingly, the exchange rate is not yet where we want it to be. Inflation is not yet where we want to be.

“Is our strategy, right? Absolutely. We believe our strategy is right, but it requires occasional calibration. Put good money to use.”

At the Africa CEO in Kigali, Rwanda, the Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanne disclosed that the company snubbed Nigeria when investing $6bn in energy projects in Angola over inconsistency in policymaking in Nigeria.

Bagudu said, “Nothing we do can solve the problem of underinvestment in various sectors of the economy, be it security, be it education and be it social welfare, without restoring a macro-economy that can simulate investment in our economy, which will generate revenues for us to fix security.

“Our infrastructure is not catching up with our dreams. Our educational system, our health system are suffering from underinvestment, and in addition to our other sectors, the creative economy, the digital economy and the steel sector.”

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