The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun on Friday said the growth recorded by the country in the 2015 fiscal period was the lowest in the last 15 years.
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.84 per cent year on year in real terms in the third quarter of last year.
The growth of 2.84 per cent represents an increase of 0.49 percentage points when compared to the 2.35 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2015.
Adeosun said in a statement issued by her Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Festus Akanbi that to stimulate growth and avoid recession, there is need for a spending stimulus by the government.
According to the minister, this was what informed the decision to send a budget of N6.07tn with a capital expenditure of N1.8tn to stimulate economic development.
The minister said the planned N1.8tn capital investment in 2016 by the Federal Government was key to driving economic growth.
The assured that the economic outlook in the medium term was strong and that if the planned investments in capital were undertaken then based on the GDP growth projections, Nigeria would become a leading global economy.
The statement reads in part, “She said that government would work to ensure that consumption from our huge population would drive internal growth across a number of key sectors.
“She assured that if the disciplined implementation of the plans could be attained then Nigeria would finally be able to diversify and the situation where the entire nation is focused on the oil price would end.
“She explained that that public investment would attract further investment from the private sector and that investments in power and transport would increase the competitive position of Nigerian businesses.”
On the planned borrowing, the minister explained that government was seeking the lowest cost of funds and was therefore consulting with the multilateral agencies, which offered concessional rates of interest as low as 1.5 per cent before looking at the commercial Eurobond Market.
“She said that the financing strategy was to restructure much of the existing debts, which has short maturity and align it with the investment plans of the government in line with its Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
“She assured that government was ensuring that projects to be undertaken would create direct and indirect revenues, which would be used to repay the obligations,” the statement added.
Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS
Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.
“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.
“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.
Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.
The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.
He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”
Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.
“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.
“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”
Scarcity of Day-Old-Chicks Cripple Poultry Farmers in Akwa Ibom
Despite billions of Naira spent on Akwa Prime Hatchery and Poultry Limited by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, poultry farmers in the state said they had to order day-old-chicks from outside the state as the 200,000 capacity poultry farm developed specifically to make day-old-chicks and other poultry products available at affordable prices is almost empty at the moment.
The farmers expressed frustration over many challenges they face in the course of bringing day-old-chicks from outside the state. Usually, Ibadan, Enugu and sometimes as far as Kaduna, while the hatchery built and inaugurated in 2016 remains idle.
Mr Ekot Akpan, one of the poultry farmers who spoke with the pressmen said the state had not had it this bad.
Akpan said: “For the 12 years that I have been in poultry farming, this is the first time that poultry farmers have been so harshly affected by both economic and non-economic factors. And, quite unfortunately, nobody is available to offer any explanation.
“Farmers have been left at the whims and caprice of owners of the means of production.
“There seems to be no government regulation of the poultry industry. How, do you explain a situation where you wake up suddenly and the price of a day old chick is selling for N600, a bag of feed goes as high as N6,000.
“And, in a state that government claims to be pursuing agriculture as one of his cardinal programmes.
“For instance, in 2016, the state government said it has constructed an hatchery, and the intention according the government was to ensure availability of day old chicks at affordable price to farmers, but, quite, unfortunately, that effort has not yielded any tangible result.
“Farmers are still getting their day old chicks from Ibadan, Kaduna, and Enugu. So, the question now is where is the hatchery?
“One would have expected that farmers would be buying old chicks at humane prices, but, from all indications they acclaimed hatchery is a ruse. So, which one is the Akwa Prime Hatchery producing,” he said.
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