The Honorable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has noted that the President of Nigeria; President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration are responsible for taking several decisive steps that ensured that Nigeria came out its first recession in 25 years.
Alhaji Mohammed made this statement at the annual conference of the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) in Kano on Wednesday. He asserted that the escape of Nigeria from recession did not happen by accident and it happened because of the dedication and hard work of members the current administration.
“It is the culmination of months of hard work by the administration and fidelity to its well articulated economic policies, especially the Strategic Implementation Economic Recovery and the growth plan (ERGP) that was launched in April 2017” the honorable minister said.
He listed the reversal of consistent slowdown since 2014 to a level where the GDP finally grew by 0.55% in the second quarter of 2017 as the major force that pulled the country out of the recession. “This positive growth is attributable to both the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy as oil sector experienced an increase of up to 17% points. The sector rose by 1.64% as compared to -15.60 % of the first quarter of 2017.”
“The non-oil sector grew by 0.45% in the second quarter of 2017, this is a second successive quarterly growth after growing 0.72% in the first quarter of 2017. In particular, improvement in the non-oil sector was driven principally by strong growth in agriculture and solid minerals sector, and reversal in the previous contraction of the manufacturing and construction sector. this shows that the Government’s economic diversification programme is working”, he said.
The minister reiterated that some of the insightful programmes of the government such as the National Home Grown Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and the N-power scheme have highly impacted the citizens of Nigeria and has improved the economy of the country.
Some of the positive improvements include the fall in the inflation rate from 18% to 16% as of July 2017; the rise in exports coupled with the decrease in imports, which has brought the country’s trade balance to 719.4 billion Naira, the increase in capital inflow that brought the total value of capital imported into Nigeria in the second quarter of 2017 to $1,792.3 million which represents a 95% increase, the increase in foreign reserves to a 30 month high of $31.8 billion in July 2017 and the appreciation of exchange rate from N520/$ to N362/$.
In conclusion, Alhaji Mohammed said “to naysayers, these positive developments do not constitute news. That is why they make up their own news and engage in disinformation and hate speech. They believe that by seeking to overwhelm the population with fake news and hate speeches, they can easily obliterate the glaring achievements of the Buhari administration. We must not allow them to dominate the media space.”