The Presidency yesterday described as a welcome development the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, with oil, agriculture and industrial sectors leading the growth.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice-President), Laolu Akande, who stated this in a relase yesterday, said the new figures are clear indications of the ongoing progress recorded by the Nigerian economy.
Akande said the Buhari administration welcomes the new growth figures, and will continue to work diligently on a daily basis to ensure inclusive growth, to which we have always been committed through the active pursuit of a raft of policy initiatives, past and present, adding that such initiatives, include but not limited to the Social Investment Programmes, Anchor Borrowers Scheme, longstanding Budget Support Facilities to the States, plus other bailout packages, ensuring the comprehensive payment of workers’ salary & pension backlogs among others,’’ he added.
He said the Federal Government would be ramping up the implementation pace of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Also commenting, the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, said this development reinforced the exit of the nation’s economy from recession.
“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 per cent (now revised to 0.72 per cent) experienced in Q2 2017 and reinforces the exit from the 2016 recession.
According to him, the positive growth in the third quarters is consistent with the improvements in other indicators.
He noted that the foreign exchange reserves had risen to nearly 34 billion dollars while stock market and purchasing managers’ indices had also been positive.
He said: “The naira exchange rate has stabilised while inflation has declined to 15.91 per cent from 18.7 in January 2017.
“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.
“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 per cent 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 by the Federal Government.’’
Dipeolu expressed the hope that the economy would continue to grow given these developments and the reform, and 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.