Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Buhari’s reforms positively impacted the economy – Udoma

 

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has said the Nigerian economy is on the right path, insisting that most policies initiated by the current administration are stirring the economy towards an upward trajectory.

He said this is evident in the very positive indicators reflected in Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2018 and over the medium-term.

Udoma, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Akpandem James, said though the Buhari led administration inherited a challenged economy, it had succeeded in turning the situation around as the economy was now out of recession and growing again.

He said government was rolling out initiatives, such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan focus labs, aimed at attracting sufficient private sector investments to ensure that the country would achieve the growth target of seven percent by 2020.

In his presentation at the Financial Times Nigeria Summit, Udoma recalled that the collapse of oil prices in the global market from $111.8 in June 2014 to as low as $30.7 in January 2016, and with no fiscal buffers, set the country’s economy on a downward spiral. This, he noted, culminated in a recession by the second quarter of 2016.

“This was followed by the development of the ERGP in 2017, a medium term plan whose implementation has taken the country out of recession and will place the economy on the path of sustained, diversified and inclusive growth.

“As part of the implementation of the ERGP, there have been substantial increases in capital allocations to priority sectors. There have been allocations to priority sectors such as infrastructure and agriculture, with capital releases of over N1.2 trillion under the 2016 Budget, and almost N1.5 trillion under the 2017 Budget.”

He said some of reform measures, such as the work being done by the Presidential Enabling Business Council, had resulted in the country becoming recognized by the World Bank as one of the top 10 reforming countries in the world.

In addition, he stated that the country had moved up 24 places in one year in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, while its total exports appreciated by 59.9 percent between 2016 and 2017 following the implementation of the ERGP.

Udoma said the country’s business climate had improved with the government focusing on creating an environment for private sector investment. “We have tackled those issues that made Nigeria not to be competitive in the past such as ease of getting visas and acquiring lands, among others,” he said.

The minister said the growth of other indices like foreign reserves, inflation rate, Gross Domestic Product were encouraging and made the economy more resilient.

“We have built up our foreign reserves, in June 2016 it was 26.51billion dollars but today it’s about 44 billion dollars,” the minister said. He said the growth in the country’s reserves was achieved with prudent management.

 

 

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