Nigeria's economic downgrade "unduly punitive"

Oct 25, 2010

Nigeria's Minister of Finance has criticised Fitch Ratings for issuing a downward revision of its outlook for the country's economy.

The agency recently downgraded the nation from 'stable' to 'negative', a move Olusegun Aganga has disagreed with. "We do consider the decision to adjust the outlook downwards unduly punitive and disagree with it given the numerous positive features of the country's economy," he said in a statement.

Mr Aganga stated there are many measures being implemented to counteract the issues Fitch cited when it revised its rating for Nigeria, such as a fall in foreign exchange reserves and withdrawals from the excess crude account. Reacting to the move from Fitch when it was made late last week, Samir Gadio of Standard Bank in Lagos was quoted by Reuters as saying it reflected "the deterioration of Nigeria's fiscal management of oil revenues", adding the change is unlikely to affect prices for the upcoming $500 million (£317 million) Nigerian eurobond.