18 May 2012, Sweetcrtude, ABUJA – NIGERIA’s Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says the nation’s crude oil production and sales was declining on a daily baisis.
She said, for instance, that in April, production declined by as much as 17 per cent.
The minister, who disclosed this to the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, who visited her office in Abuja on Thursday, listed this as the greatest challenge currently facing the Nigerian economy.
Okonjo-Iweala further told the committee members, led by their chairman, Honourable Abdul Jubrin, that the daily declining output had shrank the revenue accruing to the nation, but she affirmed that Nigeria was not broke.
She attributed decline in oil production to theft and smuggling, but stated that the government was not folding its arms over the matter, but rather was already addressing the situation through improved security measures in the oil-bearing Niger Delta area.
On the monthly meeting of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), which distributes money to the three tiers of government, the minister explained that delay in disbursing funds was not an issue of concern.
She said, “We are depending on a resource (crude oil) that sells in the market. Remember, sometimes, when you sell in the market, you do not get the money right away.
“Just like an ordinary seller in the market, there are sometimes when you are selling to your customers they will tell you that I will bring the money later. Please, give me credit for one or two days.”