Mr Abraham Nwankwo, its Director-General, said that that Nigeria still had potential to be one of the first 20 economies in the world in spite of its current economic travails.
Nwankwo spoke to newsmen in Lagos at a breakfast meeting that Nigerians should not be depressed because of the depressed crude oil prices in the international market.
He said that boom in the crude oil prices over the years had given Nigerians false sense of wealth as the oil sector was actually contributing less than 20 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Nwankwo said that the county was endowed with over 30 mineral resources that had remained untapped over the years.
According to him, Nigeria is yet to explore 25 per cent of its potential in agriculture, manufacturing, non-oil minerals, ICT, entertainment and human resources, amongst others.
Nwankwo said that these current challenges could be turned to economic prosperity in the next four to five years with the programmes of the current administration.
Nwankwo said: “What will make the difference is the way we respond.
“It is the critical factor that determines what happens next.
“We can either respond positively or negatively.
“Individually and collectively we need to respond positively and use it as opportunity to give the economy the needed stimulus to achieve a high level equilibrium.
“The fact that oil is depressed does not mean that we should all be depressed, but it should stir us to help the country achieve what the best we can”.
Nwankwo advised Nigerians to see these challenges “as another aspect of what is being expected on the journey to have an economy that is among top in 2020′.
While speaking on the 2016 budget deficit, Nwankwo said the bulk of the budget deficit would be used to develop infrastructure which would have multiplier effects on all sectors of the economy.
He said that government decided to borrow half of the budget deficit abroad so as not to crowd out investors in the local capital market.
Nwankwo said that country had the capacity to pay its debt obligations in the next five to seven years.