The Presidency on Thursday showcased some of the economic achievements said to have been recorded by the present administration, saying only the blind would not see the feats.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated this in a statement titled, “The economy: Facts are stubborn things,” made available to journalists in Abuja.
Adesina said some unnamed persons had made it a duty to continue to make it appear as if there was nothing good about the economy under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The presidential spokesman said those in that category were only doing so to gain political advantage for themselves or their sponsors.
He said, “Some people have made it a pastime to talk as if there is no silver lining in the sky as far as the Nigerian economy is concerned. They carry on as if it is doom and gloom all the way, a thoroughfare of woes.
“This they do, to hoodwink the public, and peradventure gain political advantage for themselves, or their principals.
“But facts are stubborn things. Those arrayed against facts may abhor and deride them, but there they are, staring them starkly in the face.”
Adesina then highlighted some of the achievements, which he said those he described as naysayers might not be able to do anything about.
He quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as saying that the economy had recovered from the slowdown and eventual recession, which started in 2014.
He said there had been an improvement with stronger growth for three successive quarters, adding that from contracting by 0.91 per cent in Q1 2017, the economy had grown by 0.72 per cent in Q2 2017, to 1.17 per cent in Q3 2017, and 2.11 per cent in Q4 2017.
The Q1 2018 GDP, Adesina said, showed that the economy had recorded a GDP growth of 1.95 per cent, compared to a contraction of 0.91 per cent in Q1 2017.
He explained that the growth was driven by agriculture and industry, which he said, showed that after more than 50 years of lip service, the Nigerian economy was on the road to diversification, indicating that the oil sector’s contribution to the GDP was 9.61 per cent, while non-oil sector’s share was 90.39 per cent.
He added, “One of the factors responsible for the positive performance of the economy in Q1 2018 was the spending of about N1.5tn on infrastructure projects in 2017.
“For the past 15 months, inflation has declined consistently from 18.72 per cent to 12.48 per cent. The country is steadily on the road to the single digit inflation rate.
“The first quarter of 2018 saw a continuous growth in the total capital importation into the country, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase since Q2 2017. The total value of capital imported is $6,303.63m, a 17.11 per cent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter.
“Foreign reserves stand at $47.79bn, compared to $29.6bn inherited in May 2015, after about six years boom in oil prices in the international market. The increase came at a time of modest oil prices, showing transparency and accountability by the government.”