BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Presidency has again dismissed opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s claims of the Nigerian economy being in trouble as untrue.
Debunking the PDP’s position as a figment of their fertile imagination in Abuja on Wednesday, the Presidency insisted that President Muhammad Buhari remains the best man for the job of revamping and repositioning the Nigerian economy for sustainable growth.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; “All said and done, President Buhari remains the best hope for the Nigerian economy. The country needs change and this remains the person with the will and determination to deliver.”
Malam Shehu’s statement explained that the Buhari administration’s economic score card has been impressive on most fronts.
He said in keeping with historical trends, there was less economic activity during the electoral cycle, but added that the economy grew by 2.35 per cent in second quarter of 2015 and 3.96 per cent in first quarter of 2015 as compared to 5.94 per cent in fourth quarter of 2014.
He said: ”While foreign direct investment can help, it is not the only source of investment in the economy. There is also domestic investment which is either undertaken by the government or by the private sector.”
Further highlighting the government’s economic achievements, the Presidential aide said; ”It is also noteworthy that capital importation into Nigeria grew by 216 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the last quarter of 2018.”
Malam Shehu also noted that the foreign portfolio investment, which is still foreign investment, was 7.14 billion dollars in the first quarter of the year, adding that; ”A look at business pages in newspapers shows that there is a lot of business activity going on in the country.”
”Two stories in today’s paper point to increasing economic activity. First is that the profit of UACN grew in the first half of this year by 61 per cent.
”Second is that Business Day (pg1) states that cargo imports jumped by 21 per cent in the first half of 2019. Increasing imports is a pointer to greater economic activity and the availability of foreign exchange with which to conduct business.”
The presidential spokesman, who admitted that a major constraint to business was the Apapa gridlock which a number of companies had listed as the major impediment to doing business, however, noted that the situation has tremendously improved overtime.
Shehu boasted that in his first four years, President Buhari improved relations with China, the U.S. and Europe and won their support for the administration’s development agenda.
He also said the President has channelled unprecedented sums of money into infrastructure development, noting that capital spending has been kept at about 30 per cent of annual budgets.
”Construction of roads, highways, public transport and airports have sharply increased. Government is spending heavily on power.
”This, combined with private sector investment has grown generation capacity to 13 megawatts.” – with NAN reports