Minister reveals secrets of Buhari’s work that reversed recession

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has revealed the secrets of how the Buhari’s Administration is reportedly working its way out of the recession. Mohammed made the revelation while speaking at the 4th Annual Conference of the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) in Kano on Wednesday. “Taking Nigeria out of remcession did not happen by accident. 

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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 (2016) and the Growth Plan (ERGP) that was launched on 5th April, 2017,” the minister said. 

The minister cited some of the ”incrementally-positive steps” that got Nigeria out of recession to include the reversal of the consistent slowdown since 2014 to a level where the GDP finally grew by 0.55 per cent in the second quarter of 2017. 

”This positive growth is attributable to both the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy. Growth in the oil sector, which has been negative since Q4 2015, was positive in Q2 2017. It rose by 1.64 per cent as compared to -15.60 in Q1 2017, an increase of up to 17 percentage points. 

”The non-oil sector grew by 0.45 per cent in Q2 2017, a second successive quarterly growth after growing 0.72 per cent in Q1 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 stressed. 

The Minister listed other positive developments as a fall in the inflation rate from 18 per cent to 16 per cent as of July 2017; the rise in exports, coupled with a decrease in imports, which brought the country’s trade balance to ₦719.4 billion, up from ₦671.3 billion; 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, representing a growth of 95.02 per cent; increase in foreign reserves to a 30-month high of $31.8 billion in July 2017; and appreciation in exchange rate from N520/$ as at 20 February 2017 to N362/$ as at 17th August 2017. 

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He also cited some of the various impactful programmes of the Administration as including the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, which today feeds 3,065,000 pupils in 14 states of the Federation pupils and has employed 36,000 Cooks across the country; the Conditional Cash Transfer that has seen about over 30,000 households benefit from the N5,000 monthly stipend; the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme under which about 120,000 people have benefited from the cooperative loans; and the N-power that has employed 200,000 people. 

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He explained that the high food prices are being addressed with appropriate monetary, fiscal and trade policies, as stated in the ERGP. The minister recalled his earlier statement that the purveyors of hate speech, fake news and disinformation are working hard to obliterate the glaring achievements of the Administration. 

”To naysayers, these positive developments do not constitute news. That’s why they make up their own fake news, and engage in disinformation and hate speech. They believe that by seeking to overwhelm the polity with fake news, disinformation and hate speech, they can easily obliterate the glaring achievements of the Buhari Administration. We must not allow them to dominate the media space,” he added.

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