LAGOS, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Thursday said it was under pressure as the country was technically in recession, assuring that measures were being taken to ensure a rebound of the economy.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, made this known when she appeared before the Senate to brief it on fiscal policies being put in place to ameliorate the sufferings of the citizens.
She reiterated the commitment of the present administration to coming up with policies to address the problems confronting Nigerians, particularly the poor.
According to her, the government has made capital release of 248 billion naira (over 800 million U.S. dollars) from the 2016 budget as part of efforts to get the economy going.
"Technically, in economic terms, we have had two periods of negative growth; we are in a recession but I don't think we should dwell on that," she said.
"The most important thing is that we are going to get out of it," the minister added.
"Our social intervention projects have been funded to provide relief to the poorest. Every local government will be touched by that program and we will continue to get out of it," Adeosun said.
"While Nigeria lives in one of the toughest times, we are confident that the strategies we are deploying will get us out of the problems," the minister told the senate.
She added that those strategies are about being disciplined about government spending to reduce wastage and leakages to ensure that the government invest in infrastructure that is needed to create jobs and growth in this economy.
While admitting that Nigerians were going through painful adjustments, she reassured that the government was on the right track and that no money was being wasted.
"Many of our revenues will come in quarter three of the year. For example, most companies' year ends in September. So, it is from September they will begin to pay their taxes," she added.
On social intervention projects, the minister said 14 billion naira (46 million dollars) had been released for capital expenditure like recruitment of teachers and school feeding, among others.
Adeosun, who said Nigeria remained the largest economy in Africa, expressed optimism that the economy would make significant improvement.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said Nigerians were expecting the executive to live by its promise to better their lot.
He said the senate, on its part, would continue to monitor the level of implementation of the 2016 budget, while engaging the minister on a periodic basis for further briefings on the state of things. Enditem