The federal government has claimed that the recession plaguing the Nigerian economy is almost over in Issue 23 of Aso Villa Newsletter called ‘Government at Work.’
The newsletter released by the Presidency on Tuesday, February 14th pointed out summarized proofs asserting its claims as follows;
- Over-Subscription of Recent Eurobond:
The federal government said the 8-fold over-subscription of its recent Eurobond which were ordered in excess of US$7.8 billion compared to a pre-issuance target of US$1bn, has demonstrated a strong market appetite for Nigeria, and showed confidence by the international investment community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda.
- The Growth of Agriculture and Solid Minerals Sector:
The federal government averred that the non-oil economy swept in modest returns yielding a positive territory growth at 0.03 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 (Q3) after two consecutive quarters of negative growth. This marginal growth is due to the continued good performance of the agriculture and the solid minerals sectors.
While agriculture grew by 4.54 per cent in the quarter under consideration of which growth in crop production at nearly 5 per cent was at its highest since the first quarter of 2014, growth in the solid minerals sector was said to have averaged about 7 per cent.
- CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP)
According to the federal government, another pointer to a growing economy is the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) which substantially raised local rice production in 2016 (yields improved from 2 tonnes per hectare to as much as 7 tonnes per hectare, in some States) and produced a model agricultural collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi States.
- The Fertilizer Intervention Project;
FG says this project which involves a partnership with the Government of Morocco, for the supply of phosphate is on course to significantly raise local production, and bring the retail price of fertilizer down by about 30 per cent.
- The New Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN);
The newly established Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is finally taking off, with initial funding of US$1.3bn (provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, the African Development Bank and Agence Française de Development) to provide medium and long-term loans to MSMEs.
- The New Social Housing Programme;
The federal government said a new Social Housing Programme – The ‘Family Homes Fund’ is kicking off in 2017. It will take off with a 100 billion naira provision in the 2017 Budget, while the rest of the funding will come from the private sector.
- Largest Ever Capital Spending In Nigerian History;
The government further explained that more than N800 billion had been released for capital expenditure in the 2016 budget, since implementation started in June 2016, which is the largest ever capital spending within a single budget year in the history of Nigeria.
It said these monies have enabled the resumption of work on several stalled projects – road, rail and power projects – across the country and implementation of the Social Investment and Empowerment Programme (SIP) as well as all the four components of the SIP have now taken off.
The SIP is the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in the history of Nigeria, with more than 1 million beneficiaries so far: – 200,000 N-Power beneficiaries, 23,400 Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme beneficiaries, 1,000,000 Homegrown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) beneficiaries, as well as ongoing Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) payments across nine pilot states.
- Strategic Engagements with OPEC and Niger Delta;
The federal government said Strategic Engagements with OPEC and in the Niger Delta have played an important part in raising our expected oil revenues. Already, Nigeria’s External Reserves have grown by more than $4 billion in the last three months.
- Collaboration with China for Infrastructural Funding;
Collaboration with China, proceeding from President Buhari’s April 2016 visit, has unlocked billions of dollars in infrastructure funding. Construction will begin on the first product of that collaboration, a 150km/hour rail line between Lagos and Ibadan, in Q1 2017.
- The National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP);
The National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP), the Federal Government’s medium-term Economic Plan, is due for launch in February 2017, and will chart a course for the Nigerian economy over the next four years (2017 – 2020).
In the meantime, Speaker of the House of Representatives has on Tuesday, tasked its newly inaugurated tactical committee on Economic recession to tackle the current economic recession and return the country’s economy to the path of growth and stability.