The Presidency on Monday welcomed the new Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as a clear indication of ongoing progress in the Nigerian economy.
This is stated in a statement by Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters.
According to him, the Buhari administration welcomes the new growth figures, and will continue to work diligently on a daily basis to ensure inclusive growth.
The figures just released by the NBS, showed oil, agriculture and industrial sectors leading the chart.
Dipeolu explained that the administration had remained committed to inclusive growth through the active pursuit of a raft of policy initiatives.
Such initiatives included the Social Investment Programmes, Anchor Borrowers Scheme, longstanding Budget Support Facilities to the States, and other bailout packages, ensuring the comprehensive payment of workers’ salary and pension backlogs, among others.
Also the Federal Government promised to ramp up the implementation pace of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“The latest NBS GDP figures show that the Nigerian economy grew by 1.4 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter of 2017 (Q3 2017).
“This is a steady continuation of the positive growth of 0.55% (now revised to 0.72%) experienced in Q2 2017 and reinforces the exit from the 2016 recession.
“The positive growth in Q3 is consistent with the improvements in other indicators.
“Foreign exchange reserves have risen to nearly 34 billion dollars while stock market and purchasing managers’ indices have also been positive.
“The naira exchange rate has stabilised while inflation has declined to 15.91% from 18.7 in January 2017,’’ Dipeolu said.
According to the Presidential Aide, while inflation is not declining as fast as desirable, it is approaching the estimated target of 15.74 per cent for the year in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
He observed that agricultural growth was 3.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, maintaining the positive growth of the sector even when there was a slow-down in the rest of the economy.
“The industrial sector grew at 8.83% mostly due to mining and quarrying.
“The oil sector grew very strongly as forecast in the ERGP and partly as a result of the policy actions in the plan to restore growth in the sector.
“The service sector is yet to recover but should soon begin to be positively affected by the improvements in the real economy and the effects of the dedicated and focused capital spending of over N1.2 trillion on infrastructure,’’ he added.
Dipeolu stated that it was expected that the economy would continue to grow given those developments and the reform.
He added improvements in the business environment shown by the upward movement of 24 places in the recently released World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings.
Said he: “the overall picture that emerges is that the economy is on the path of recovery.
“As inflation trends downwards, and with steady implementation of the ERGP, real growth should soon be realised across all sectors in a mutually reinforcing manner.”