President Goodluck Jonathan has said despite the disturbing downward slope in global oil price, the domestic economy would remain stable.
The Nation reports that the President gave the assurance on December 4, 2014, Thursday, when a delegation of multinational industrial giant, General Electric (GE), led by its Vice Chairman and CEO, Mr. John Rice, paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
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According to a statement issued after the meeting by Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, President Jonathan stated that the Federal Government would do everything possible to maintain domestic economic stability, and urged the company to maintain its confidence in the country.
“We promise our people that even with the drop in oil prices, the economy will be stable.
“I urge you to maintain the confidence you have in this country before the oil price drop, and even expect better management from us.
“Sometimes, it is when you are challenged that you do better than when everything looks good.
“So, I assure you, other investors in this country and all Nigerians that the government will do everything necessary to stabilise the economy and that the drop in the price of crude oil will not create so much distortion in our economy,” he reiterated.
President Jonathan thanked GE for its commitment to increase its investment in Nigeria with the attendant benefit of job creation for many more Nigerians.
He also welcomed GE’s plans to set up a facility in Calabar to manufacture components for the oil and gas sector.
Speaking during the meeting, Rice told the President that GE has committed about $30 million to the development of the Calabar plant and was already undertaking the training abroad of some Nigerians who will work there.
The dropping world oil prices and a retreat from emerging markets have put pressure on the currencies of several oil exporters, which includes Africa’s top producer, Nigeria.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on November 25, announced the devaluation of the Naira, with the new exchange officially at N168 to U.S. dollar.
CBN governor Godwin Emefiele explained that the move to lower the value of the naira against the dollar was aimed at strengthening the currency in the course of the dwindling oil price.
He also urged the government to speed up the process towards the immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) pending passage for the past two years.