The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
Adesina listed some of the achievements of the present administration in the outgoing year and concluded that President Muhammadu Buhari has done well.
“President Buhari’s investment in infrastructure will see major facelifts across the country in power, rail and roads, which have been scheduled to come on stream in 2018,” Adesina said.
The Presidential spokesman said it was appropriate to, at the twilight of 2017 and at the threshold of a New Year, recount some key achievements of the administration in the outgoing year.
He said despite global economic challenges and initial outlook of slow, or unlikely, recovery, the Nigerian economy trumped predictions and witnessed some remarkable changes in 2017.
He listed the changes to include Nigeria’s exit from what he called the worst recession in decades and a gradual stabilisation of the naira.
“In our review of the economy based on facts and figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, we are pleased to note that the economy has been on the path of steady growth since the second quarter, after contracting for five consecutive quarters.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is hopeful that the exit from recession, stabilisation of the naira and robust harvest in the agricultural sector will continue to impact on the livelihood of Nigerians,” he said.
Adesina noted that multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have already projected higher growth for the economy in 2018.
He said the government was hopeful that the gains of 2017 in agriculture would be further improved.
He added, “The agricultural sector posted consistent growth levels throughout the recession, leading other sectors into positive growth rates.
“Accordingly, Nigeria saw bumper food harvests, especially in rice, whose local production continues to rise significantly with states like Ebonyi, Kebbi and Kano leading the pack, while Ogun joined the loop by the end of 2017.
“The price of a 50kg bag of rice – a staple in our country – has fallen by about 30 per cent since the beginning of 2017, as local production continues to rise. The price will keep falling, as production remains consistent and rises.
“The Food and Agriculture Organisation said the number of Nigerians facing food insecurity in the northeast dropped by half this year.”
Adesina said against all odds, 2017 has turned out the year of Nigeria’s agriculture revolution, embodied by the successes of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative and the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
He said more than a dozen moribund fertilizer blending plants were revived under the PFI in 2017.
He added that inflation rate fell for 10 consecutive months in 2017, February to November, with the Central Bank of Nigeria projecting that it is likely going to drop to single digit by 2018.
The presidential spokesman added, “The Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme rolled out across the states and currently 5.2 million primary school children in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily, while 200,000 unemployed graduates were enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme.