- FG Optimistic Nigeria Will Exit Recession This Year
The federal government on Wednesday expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy was on the path of recovery, assuring the public that the country would crawl out of recession before the end of the year.
Making this disclosure while briefing journalists at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said available indices had shown that the economy was recovering faster than it was envisaged.
According to him, whereas the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had forecast a contraction in Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate by 1.8 per cent in 2016, the economy contracted by 1.5 per cent last year.
He said this was highly encouraging, but admitted that the recession was not over, adding that with more efforts put into the economic recovery agenda, Nigeria would definitely exit the recession before the end of the year.
He added that the report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which indicated that the economy recorded a contraction of 1.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, was another attestation that the economy was on a recovery path.
“With regards to the NBS report, as you are aware, in the fourth quarter of 2016, the economy contracted by 1.3 per cent which was a lower degree of contraction than the previous quarter and indicative that we are already turning around and beginning to recover, even though we are still in a recession. So the overall result was better than many people projected.
“The IMF report had forecast a GDP growth rate of -1.8 per cent for 2016 but it turned out to be -1.5 per cent. So, that’s better than expected but we are not out of the woods.
“It is encouraging, but we have to do more to make sure that we get the economy out of the recession this year.
“With regards to the things we plan to do in the next three to four years, they are spelt out in details in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
“It involves a number of things but the key is to make this economy competitive so that we diversify. We want to do two broad things: one is to restore oil production and harvest what we can get from that sector, but also diversify by making the economy competitive so we would grow our agriculture and manufacturing.
“We will have value added in Nigeria and move from a consuming to a producing nation. That is the thrust of the plan. We believe we have the will and determination to achieve it,” Udoma stated.
The minister said the government was determined to get the economy out of recession before the end of the year, pointing out that the 2017 budget was structured to do just that.
“That is why we are anxious to get the budget passed, so that we can begin implementation and begin to take all the steps we need to get the economy out of recession,” he added.
Udoma, who said he briefed FEC on the ERGP that was released by his ministry on Tuesday, emphasised that the federal government was looking forward to the early passage of the budget, adding that doing so would fast-track the implementation of the recovery agenda.
He said a number of the recovery initiatives had already been incorporated into the budget.
He also said signs of economic recovery had been showing and encouraged the government to concentrate on solid minerals investment and simultaneously ensure that Nigeria’s infrastructure is revamped.
He also enumerated the five planks of the ERGP to include: human capital development, macroeconomic stability, agricultural revolution and food security, improved transportation, energy sufficiency and industrial growth.
“So we are encouraged but we are even more energised to put in more efforts in agriculture which is doing very well to do even better. To put in more efforts in the solid minerals sector, to make sure that our infrastructure is revamped because that is what will stimulate our economy if we continue in this way.
“You saw yesterday that the acting president went to break grounds for the railway project from Lagos to Ibadan all the way to Kano. As you know, the economic recovery and growth plan focuses on three objectives.
“One is restoring growth and that is what we are determined to do. Two is involving our people; our people are our greatest resource, and three is building a competitive economy because ultimately, the economy cannot do well unless it is competitive.
“So we are determined with this plan to make this economy great again. We are determined to move from the negative growth that we experienced in 2016 to a growth rate of 7 per cent by 2020,” Udoma submitted.
Also briefing newsmen, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, said the council approved the construction of the Greater Abuja water supply project at the cost of $470 million to provide “potable water to the greater part of the city and it intends to leverage on the facility that we have in the city”.
According to Bello, the project will be funded by the China Exim Bank, and listed the phases of water supply to various parts of the FCT.
NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.
The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.
NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.
Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).
The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.
Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.
For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.
Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.
Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.
NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.
This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).
The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.
It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.
NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.
Nigeria’s Food Inflation Hits 22.95 Percent in March 2021
Food inflation in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
Food Index increased at a faster pace when compared to 21.70 percent filed in February 2021.
Increases were recorded in Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.
On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.90 percent in March 2021. An increase of 0.01 percent points from 1.89 percent recorded in February 2021.
Analysing a more stable inflation trend, the twelve-month ended March 2021, showed the food index averaged 17.93 percent in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 0.68 percent when compared to 17.25 percent recorded in February 2021.
Insecurities amid wide foreign exchange rates and several other bottlenecks that impeded free inflow of imported goods were responsible for the surged in prices of goods and services in March, according to the report.
The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had attributed the increase in prices to scarcity created by the intermittent clash between herdsmen and farmers across the nation.
However, other factors like unclear economic policies, increased in electricity tariffs, duties, subsidy removal and weak fiscal buffer to moderate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy continue to weigh and drag on new investment and expansion of local production despite the Federal Government aggressive call for improvement in domestic production.
Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 18.17 percent year-on-year in the month under review.
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