President Buhari Impressed With Nigeria’s Economic Progress

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed pleasure over the progress being witnessed in all sectors of the economy after two years of what he described as serious hard work.

The President said this on Monday, August 28, 2017, in a meeting where he was officially briefed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President was updated on the improving state of the economy as well as other national issues. The statement reads:

“For almost two hours, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received briefing from the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, after which a delighted President declared that he was pleased with the progress being made on different fronts.

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“The ministers and CBN governor updated the President on the improving state of the economy, implementation of the 2017 Budget, preparation for the 2018 Budget, revenue strategies, combined cost reduction and debt management. Also discussed were monetary policy strategies and their economic impact, among others.

“President Buhari, while reminding the ministers and CBN governor that reviving the economy was one of the major planks on which the campaign of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), was based, expressed gladness that things were looking up after two years of serious work.

“Urging them to keep at it, the President noted that the main aim of government was to bring succour to Nigerians across all walks of life.”

Buhari vs NBS economic assessment

But the latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics, (NBS) released on Monday, August 28 reveals that food inflation in the country rose by 20.28 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) in July.

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According to the NBS, food price pressure continued into July as all major food sub-indexes increased representing the highest year on year increase in food prices since 2009.

In the report, the NBS noted that the food index in July was up by 0.37 per cent over 19.91 per cent recorded in June. The report further stated that the rise in the food index was caused by increase in prices of bread and cereals, meat, fish, oils and fats, coffee, tea and cocoa, potatoes yam and other tubers and vegetables.

“On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.52 per cent in July, down by 0.47 per cent points from 1.99 per cent recorded in June. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending in July 2017, over the previous 12 month average was 18.25 per cent, 0.38 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in June (17.87) per cent,” the report stated.

The last time food inflation was this high in the country, at 20.9 per cent in July 2008, was the peak of the 2007/2008 global food crisis brought on by harsh droughts in food-producing regions, higher energy costs, and increased speculation on food commodity prices, economic research by Vetiva noted.

The NBS also reported that annual inflation in Nigeria dropped by 0.05 per cent in July, easing to 16.05 per cent from 16.10 per cent recorded in June, making it the sixth consecutive decline in the rate of headline year on year (YoY) inflation since January.

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The report stated: “On a month-on-month (MoM) basis, the headline index increased by 1.21 per cent in July from 1.58 per cent recorded in June. The urban index rose by 16.0 per cent YoY in the same month, down by 0.11 per cent point from 16.15 per cent recorded in June, while the Rural index increased by 16.08 per cent in July from 16.01 per cent in June.

“On MoM basis, the urban index rose by 1.25 per cent in July 2017, down by 0.35 per cent point from 1.60 per cent recorded in June, while the rural index rose by 1.18 per cent in July 2017, down by 0.39 per cent point from 1.57 percent in June.

“All Items less Farm Produce’’ or Core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce eased by 0.30 per cent during the month to 12.20 per cent points from 12.50 per cent recorded in June as all key divisions which contributes to the index increased.”

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According to the report, the corresponding 12 month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index increased from 18.69 per cent in June to 18.43 per cent in July, while the corresponding rural index also increased from 16.56 per cent in June to 16.60 per cent in July.

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