The Federal Government has predicted that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may increase by three percent in 2019, with inflation having dropped from a high 18.7 percent in January 2017 to 11.4 percent by December 2018.
President Muhammadu Buhari said this on Wednesday in Abuja at an Inter-Faith Town Hall Meeting held at the State House Banquet Hall, with the theme, “Reforming Nigeria: The Challenges of Delivering Good Governance”.
The President who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha, said Nigeria has witnessed eight quarters of positive growth in the economy since exiting recession in the second quarter of 2017.
“With determination, we expect GDP to attain at least a level of 3 percent in 2019. After five years of continuous contraction between 2016 and 2017, the economy exited the recession in the second quarter of 2017.
“Our external reserves have risen from $23bn in October 2016 to $42bn as at December 2018. Our monthly food import bill has declined from $664m in January 2015 to $160m as at October 2018.
“The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, which is a gauge of manufacturing activity in the country, has risen for 22 consecutive months as at January 2019, indicating continuous growth and expansion in our manufacturing sector.
“We have seen an exponential rise in production of key agricultural commodities such as rice, palm oil, wheat and fish to mention a few. Behind each of these products, are thousands of hardworking Nigerians working in factories and farms to support the production of these goods,” he said.
While preaching peace and tolerance in the forthcoming polls, President Buhari pledged that if re-elected, his administration will extensively expand the agricultural and manufacturing sectors of the country.
He said his government will support the growth of rural farmers and small business owners to enable them meet the needs of Nigerians, and that road and rail infrastructures will also be upgraded to help famers and manufactures move their products across the country more quickly and cheaply.
He said, “We will continue to build on our record on improving the enabling environment for businesses by improving their access to credit and cutting down on bureaucratic red tapes.”
The President stressed that the inter-faith gathering was aimed at further consolidating efforts of and programmes initiated by his administration to ensure peace, stability and development of the country over the past four years.
“It suffices to say that all religions preach peace, harmony, honesty in managing public trust and emphasize delivery of good governance.
“This meeting is therefore very timely because it affords us the opportunity to give account of stewardship and steer the nation in the right direction as we stand at the portals of a monumental election that will define the future of country,” he said.
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Publish date : 2019-02-14 05:56:52