By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Presidency said, Thursday, that the nation’s economy was on the right track with steady growth under the present administration.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said though the opposition elements might not see the positive growth in the economy, the report of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, was the evidence that the economy was in safe hands under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
He said: “Some people have made it a pastime to talk as if there is no silver lining in the sky as far as the Nigerian economy is concerned. They carry on as if it is doom and gloom all the way, a thoroughfare of woes. This they do, to hoodwink the public and, peradventure, gain political advantage for themselves or their principals.
“But facts are stubborn things. Those arrayed against facts may abhor and deride them, but there they are, staring them starkly in the face. Here are some current facts about the Nigerian economy, which naysayers may not be able to do anything about:
“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the economy has recovered from the slow-down and eventual recession, which started in 2014. There has been improvement with stronger growth for three successive quarters. From contracting by 0.91 per cent in Q1 2017, the economy has grown by 0.72 per cent in Q2 2017, to 1.17 per cent in Q3 2017, and 2.11 per cent in Q4 2017.
“The Q1 2018 GDP shows that the economy has recorded a GDP growth of 1.95 per cent, compared to a contraction of 0.91 per cent in Q1 2017.
“The growth is driven by agriculture and industry, which shows that finally, after more than 50 years of lip service, the Nigerian economy is on the road to diversification. The oil sector’s contribution to GDP is 9.61 per cent, while non-oil sector’s share is 90.39 per cent.
“One of the factors responsible for the positive performance of the economy in Q1 2018 was the spending of about N1.5 trillion on infrastructure projects in 2017.
“For the past 15 months, inflation has declined consistently from 18.72 per cent to 12.48 per cent. The country is steadily on the road to single digit inflation rate.
“The first quarter of 2018 saw a continuous growth in total capital importation into the country, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase since Q2 2017. The total value of capital imported is $6,303.63 million, a 17.11 per cent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter.
“Foreign reserves stand at $47.79 billion, compared to $29.6billion inherited in May 2015, after about six years boom in oil prices in the international market. The increase came at a time of modest oil prices, showing transparency and accountability by government.”
“Nigeria’s Stock Market ended 2017 as one of the best-performing in the world, with returns of about 40 percent.
“Tax revenue increased to N1.17 trillion, in Q1 2018, a 51% increase on the Q1 2017 figure.
“Milled rice production has increased from 2.5MT to 4MT, and rice imports have dropped from 580,000MT in 2015 to 58,000MT in 2016. Millions of dollars have been saved.” he said
According to him, those are just little among the good things happening to the Nigerian economy.
He said that only the willfully blind would not see it, noting that would not stop the good work.
On exiting recession last year, he said President Muhammadu Buhari had said he would not consider the job done, until the ordinary man feels the impact of the rebounding economy on his life and pocket.
“We are inexorably on that road, no matter what scoffers may say.” he stated.