Nigeria’s economy moving in positive direction under Buhari – Minister

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma,
Thursday, in Indonesia told a global audience that the implementation
of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017 – 2020) was moving
Nigeria's economy in a positive direction.

A statement on Thursday by the media adviser to the Minister, James
Akpadem, quoted Udoma as stating this at the presentation of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Regional Economic Outlook Report for

He said actions taken since the launch of the plan in early 2017 had
helped to build buffers and appropriate measures to safeguard the
economy from any external shocks.

He recalled that following the collapse of crude oil prices from 2014,
which culminated in the country's economy sliding into recession in
2016, government developed a robust Medium-Term Plan – the ERGP, which
was launched in early 2017 that focuses on five strategic areas:
Macroeconomic Stability, Economic Diversification and Growth Drivers,
Competitiveness, Social Inclusion and Jobs, as well as Governance and
other Enablers.

The Minister said the positive trends recorded in the country's
economic indicators since the launch of the ERGP indicated that the
plan was working.

Among others, he listed that the federal government had been able to
bring down inflation from 18.7% in January last year to 11.2% by
August this year, saying its aim is to bring inflation down to single
digits by the end of the Plan period in 2020.

"The exchange rate market has been stabilised through the introduction
of the Investors and Importers foreign exchange window. We have also
been able to build up our external reserves from $27 billion in 2016
to $43.9 billion by early this month.

"Our current account, as a ratio of GDP, has moved from a deficit of
3.2% in 2015 to a surplus of 2.8% by end of last year. And this is
built on export growth, including significant growth in non-oil
exports, that has resulted in the country recording a consistently
positive trade balance since the fourth quarter of 2016.

"The ERGP targets both oil and non-oil. With specific reference to the
oil sector, it would be recalled that due to disruptions by militant
activity, at some point in 2016, oil production was as low as 1 mbpd.

"Through positive engagements with the communities in the Niger Delta,
we have improved the environment for oil production. Apart from
technical hitches, from time to time, we are now able to produce up to
2 mbpd and take advantage of the more favourable international oil
prices. Our target is to produce 2.3 mbpd", the Minister was quoted as

He pointed out that the implementation of the various initiatives in
the plan resulted in moving the country's economy out of recession to
a positive growth path.

"Our GDP grew from -1.6% in 2016 to 1.5% by the second quarter of this
year, with the non-oil sector growing at 2.05% – the highest growth in
the sector since the fourth quarter of 2015".

Senator Udo Udoma was confident that the country's growth projection
of 2.1% by the end of the year will be realized, noting that the IMF's
projection for Nigeria is 1.9% this year, slightly lower than
Nigeria's projection. the Minister however pointed out that given
Nigeria's growth for 2017 which was only 0.8%, even if Nigeria
achieves the IMF projection of 1.9% this year, it is a significant
improvement on the 2017 numbers.

"As you have seen, these actions that we have taken have helped us to
build buffers and appropriate measures to safeguard us from any
external shocks," he stressed.

Referring to the recent IMF Report, which indicated that one of the
downside risks to growth prospects in the sub-region is security, the
Minister said the Buhari Administration had long listed tackling
insecurity as one of its three policy thrusts.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.