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I’m quite confident OPEC deal will hold: Nigeria finance minister

Nigeria is already starting to see the dividends of its push to diversify its economy away from a dependence on oil, according to Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun.

Speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund conference in Washington, the Minister pointed to a gyrating oil price as a key issue for recent economic productivity.

"One of the problems we've faced until now is that the oil price was so volatile that our revenues were volatile. We need predictability so that we can plan."

"With all those factors in place, I'm very confident that we can get back to growth," she added.

Motorists queue to buy petrol at a fuel station in Ahaoda in Nigeria's oil state in the Delta region.
Akintunde Akinleye | Reuters
Motorists queue to buy petrol at a fuel station in Ahaoda in Nigeria's oil state in the Delta region.

Nigeria's long-term reliance on oil has caused economic pain in recent years as internal problems meant the country was unable to match its historic production levels. This was a key factor in Nigeria securing an exemption from the upcoming OPEC deal,with the country allowed to produce up to and beyond its quota, given the its inability to have reached these levels recently.

Asked about the potential for the OPEC deal to succeed, the Minister told CNBC, "I'm quite confident...there is a commitment towards stability and I think it will hold."

Nigeria has historically funded its oil joint ventures with Treasury financing but Ms Adeosun says going forward the private oil majors will be partners, a development which she sees as critical.

"Going forward…I think there's no reason why we wouldn't be able to meet our quota."

The Finance Minister also pointed to oil as a key contributory factor in the troubles with its currency, saying as oil has accounted for 90 percent of Nigeria's revenues, its volatility has led to difficulty on the foreign exchange markets.

Nigeria
Getty Images
Nigeria

Adeosun told CNBC she remained optimistic about growth, emphasizing a lot of resources have already been put to work in reorienting the economy, with around $720 billion channeled sincethe budget was passed in May.

She emphasized the attention currently focused on fixing power and transport to boost manufacturing, agribusiness and the export sector.

"The money we've released has gone to the major projects,it's roads, it's rail, it's airports, it's the infrastructure that's needed really to unlock the economy."

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