Nigeria’s economy sustains positive growth

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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The Nigerian economy has continued in its positive trajectory, growing by 1.92% in the last quarter of 2017, which is higher than the previous quarter and the second quarter when it grew by 1.40% and 0.72% respectively.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who briefed State House correspondents after Wednesday’ meeting of the Federal Executive Council, said the sustained growth also showed that the economy has fully exited recession.

Broad based growth
According to Udoma, figures recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, showed that the growth has been broad based with agriculture growing at 4.23% up from 3.06% in the 3rd Quarter of 2017.

He said: “other sectors such as transportation and storage, electricity and gas production, metal ores, and industry all grew. Particularly noteworthy were the growth recorded in trade (2.07% and Services (o.10%) after six quarters of negative growth,”he said.

The minister said that the non-oil sector grew by 1.45%, its strongest g since 2015, while “inflation is also trending downwards moving down from 18.72% in January 2017 to 15.13% in January 2018”

Private sector confidence
Udoma said that private sector confidence in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, and the other policies of the President Buhari administration was increasing.

He said this was evident in the increasing capital inflows, which in 2017 came up to US$12,228 million, a growth of 138.6% over the total inflow in 2016 of US$5,124 million.

“This has been a factor in the build-up of our foreign reserves which have grown from US$23.81 billion in September 2016 to almost US$42 billion,” he said.

“Council members however agreed that whilst these positive results are most encouraging, particularly in the light of where we were in the last few years, the current growth rate is still rather modest and we have to continue to work even harder to achieve the goals of the ERGP of diversifying the economy and achieving our growth targets of 3.5% this year, and 7% by 2020,”he said.

He said the ERGP Focus Labs, which President Buhari would launch on Tuesday next week, is one of the ways government was intensifying implementation of the ERGP.

 

Lateefah Ibrahim