Nigeria’s Economy On Growth Trajectory -Finance Minister

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun has affirmed that with the 2.98 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded in the the first quarter of 2024, the nation’s economy is growing.

Mr. Edun stated this on Tuesday at the ongoing Ministerial Sectoral Update to mark the first year of the Tinubu’s Administration.

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He explained that the 2.98 percent GDP growth rate recorded in the first quarter of this year was higher than the population growth rate of 2.4 per cent and last year’s growth rate of 2.31 percent.

“The recent figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the economy is growing.
The GDP is going up, 2.98 percent in the first quarter of this year, that is higher than the population growth of 2.4 percent, and higher than the 2.31 percent recorded last year”, he said.

He said, although the reforms in the Foreign Exchange Market, Subsidy removal and electricity subsidy removal came with a lot of pains, the President was able to counterbalance those negative effects with some interventions right across the social spectrum.

He observed that the potential that agriculture has to help move the economy forward and reduce inflation is yet to come to the table, but it’s growing.

“In the first quarter of last year, agriculture was about 0.9 percent, but in the first quarter of this year it is about 0.18 percent so it is growing marginally”, he said.

The Minister said, the index of inflation is made up of 50% food price index, which is elevated, so the administration is looking at a situation where inflation will come down.

He assured that “in another good wet season harvest, more food will be available, and as inflation comes down it gives the monetary authority the chance to stabilize the exchange rates. That is an opportunity for the interest rate to come down and for investments to come in, thereby increasing productivity, creating jobs and reducing poverty which is the President’s overall aim.

“We feel that continuing on this part, in redoubling our efforts and following the President Agenda at the state and federal levels will lead us to the growing economy that takes us out of poverty and produces a better life for Nigerians”, he noted.

The Minister maintained that the Ministry, under his stewardship will continue to ensure the full implementation of the reform policies and programmes of the government in order to restore stability to the economy, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.

Edun noted that the reforms have led to an increase in revenue, enabling the government to pay its debts and invest in infrastructure.

The Minister
explained that the government has also implemented social investment programmes to protect the poor and vulnerable, with direct payments of N75,000 to 15m households.

Additionally, he said, efforts are being made to improve food security, with 200bn Naira allocated to intervention programmes.

Edun added further that access to credit has also been improved, with N100bn allocated to consumer credit and grants of N50,000 being given to one million nano industries.

He informed further that government has implemented a system of payment to ensure that Nigeria’s money is spent wisely and accountably.

The Minister who emphasised the importance of infrastructure in growing the economy and creating jobs, added that the fund has been set up to provide institutional long-term funds to support housing construction and low-interest mortgages for the average Nigerian.

“The government’s efforts have led to an improvement in Nigeria’s international credit rating, with Moody’s and Fitch increasing and improving Nigeria’s rates to positivity”, he said.



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