The Presidency on Thursday showcased some of the economic achievements said to have been recorded by the present administration and said only the blind will not see them.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in a statement titled “The economy: Facts are stubborn things” made available to journalists in Abuja.
Adesina said some unnamed persons have made it a duty to continue to make it appear as if there is nothing good about the economy under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The presidential spokesman said those in that category were only doing so to gain political advantage for themselves or their sponsors.
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.”
Adesina then highlighted some of the achievements which he said the “naysayers” may not be able to do anything about.
He quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as saying that the economy has recovered from the slow-down and eventual recession, which started in 2014.
He said there has been improvement with stronger growth for three successive quarters, adding that from contracting by 0.91% in Q1 2017, the economy has grown by 0.72 percent in Q2 2017, to 1.17 percent in Q3 2017, and 2.11 percent in Q4 2017.
The Q1 2018 GDP, Adesina said, showed that the economy has recorded a GDP growth of 1.95 percent, compared to a contraction of 0.91 percent in Q1 2017.
He explained that the growth is driven by agriculture and industry, which shows that after more than 50 years of lip service, the Nigerian economy is on the road to diversification, indicating that the oil sector’s contribution to GDP is 9.61 percent, while non-oil sector’s share is 90.39 percent.
He adde, “One of the factors responsible for the positive performance of the economy in Q1 2018 was the spending of about N1.5trn on infrastructure projects in 2017.
“For the past 15 months, inflation has declined consistently from 18.72 percent to 12.48 percent. 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 $6,303.63m, a 17.11 percent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter.
“Foreign reserves stand at $47.79bn, compared to $29.6bn 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 N1.17trn, in Q1 2018, a 51 percent increase on the Q1 2017 figure.”
According to Adesina, 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.
He said the country was saving millions of dollars in that regards.
“These are just little among the good things happening to the Nigerian economy.
“Only the wilfully blind will not see it, but it does not stop the good work, which continues.
“On exiting recession last year, 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 concluded.