The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, is to meet in Vienna next week to discuss ‘’output and the issue of falling prices,’’ the Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, has said.
Yuguda spoke while addressing newsmen in the wake of Tuesday’s Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, meeting in Abuja yesterday.
He stressed that OPEC members were already holding preliminary meetings among themselves as a means of co-ordinating action to defend the oil market.
According to the Special Adviser, Media, to the Minister, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, Yuguda however, expressed the hope that the crude oil market recently hit by falling prices would soon record a rebound even as he reassured the nation that the Federal Government’s strategic scenario- based response was designed to shield the economy from the shocks of declining oil revenues.
“We believe that very soon the prices of oil will go up again,” Eze quoted the Minister as further saying.
He noted that the revised 73 dollars per barrel benchmark proposed to the National Assembly for the 2015 budget was part of the scenario-based response to falling oil prices , pointing out that “further measures may be introduced if oil prices continued to slide deeply.”
As part of government’s efforts to protect growth and keep the economy on a stable path during this period, Yuguda maintained that the growth drivers such as “agriculture, infrastructure and housing will continue to be strengthened,” just as he pointed out that “non-oil revenues will be broadly
enhanced while there will be a renewed focus on prudent spending.”
The Minister stressed that both the federal and state governments were adopting proactive measures in the prudent management of resources , adding that the various levels of government had agreed to work together in dealing with the challenge of falling oil prices.