• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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State of the economy: Finance Minister fails to appear before Senate

Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun failed to appear before the Senate on Wednesday after it was widely reported that she would address senators on the current state of the economy.

Instead, Adeosun sent in a late letter to inform lawmakers that she was occupied with other national assignments, attending Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Recall that she was summoned alongside the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, who met with the Senate in a closed door session on Tuesday.

After the executive session, the upper legislative chamber commended the policies of the CBN, saying there are geared towards increasing local production, creating jobs in the country, safeguarding the nation’s commonwealth and expanding economic opportunities and growth in Nigeria.

The planned interaction with Adeosun was to enable her shed light on the implementation of the 2016 budget as well as fiscal policies adopted to salvage the current economic situation in the country.

The development comes as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measuring inflation in the nation’s economy has risen to its highest point of 16.5 percent since 2005, indicating tougher times for consumers.

Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that inflation for the month of June spiked to its highest point since October 2005 – 11 years.

A sharp drop in the price of oil has put pressure on Nigeria’s revenue and the implementation of the over N6.06trillion budget.

Last week, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal told the Committee on Appropriations that government would not fully implement the 2016 budget due to renewed militancy in the Niger Delta, which brought crude oil production to as low as 800,000 barrels per day, as against 2.2million barrels projected in the 2016 budget.

Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio expressed dissatisfaction with the minister’s absence.

He said the Minister who gave them the appointment for Wednesday should have known that she would be engaged at the FEC.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who presided over the session, however requested Adeosun to honour Senate invitation on Thursday before it proceeds on annual recess.