Posted by News Express | 8 December 2014 | 2,219 times
Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has advised Nigerians not to be paralysed by fear as a result of the present economic challenges confronting the country. She gave the advice this morning in her opening remarks at the Ministerial Summit on Insurance holding at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Quoting a late US President, Okonhjo-Iweala said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Continuing, the minister said: “Many of us, private companies and households are concerned about how the current economic challenges will affect them. That is natural and legitimate. But we should avoid the kind of fear that will paralyse us or make us do the wrong things out of fear and alarm.”
She highlighted the potentials and expectations from the insurance industry, saying: “Unleashing the latent energies of the insurance industry to create more jobs and boost economic development is one of our strategic responses to close the gap created by the economic challenges we are confronting at the moment.
“Given the great progress which the banking and pension sectors have made in the last decade, insurance can do as well or even better.”
Okonhjo-Iweala made it clear that “Government is open to constructive criticism and ideas because we need to work together as a country to tackle these present challenges.” She, however, quickly added: “But we should not let the merchants of fear, those who want to politicise and make political capital by distorting facts about the economy in order to sow hopelessness and fear succeed.
“We have challenges but we also have strengths – a diversifying economy, increasing non-oil revenues from tax, a growing private sector and a mix of the right policies to help the economy grow sustainably. We also have a growing number of goods and products produced in this country so we are not 100% import dependent. These are strengths that we can fall back on to help us in this challenging times.”
•Photo shows Okonhjo-Iweala.
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