"The reasons for the recession are quite obvious. One of the most important reasons is that, as of February 2016 for example, we were generating 5000 MW of power. That is the highest ever in the history of the country.
In that same month, the vandalization of the pipelines started. So we lost 60% of gas and 60% of revenues. There is no where in the world, no economy that can lose 60% of its revenue and not go into some form of recession. The recession in many ways can very quickly be resolved. Once we are able to resolve some of the issues concerning vandalization of the pipelines, oil prices remain stable and the diversification we are trying to ensure happens.
We are trying for example to make sure we refine must of our petroleum products. So we are investing more in the refineries. We are asking private investors to come into the refineries. If we are able to do that, 30% of petroleum products will not be imported. That means that our foreign exchange reserves will be maintained. If our foreign exchange reserves are maintained, our currency will improve. I don't think life will be bleak. Those who say that it will be bleak, we must ignore them"he said