The Nigerian government says it projects a 3.01% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2019, indicating a steady rise after the country exited recession in the Second Quarter of 2017.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, stated this on Monday while speaking at the 10th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Udoma said that the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that GDP growth for the Third Quarter of 2018 showed that the economy grew by over one percent, while the Fourth Quarter growth was about two percent.
He said: “The fundamentals of the Nigerian economy are strong; the main indices are positive and growing.
“2017 was better than 2016; 2018 was better than 2017; 2019 will be even better than 2018.
“We are expecting a growth rate of 3.01% in 2019.”
Udoma said Nigeria’s growth rate was interesting because the improvement in the GDP growth rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is driven by the improvement in the growth prospects in Nigeria.
“So internationally, everybody accepts that Nigeria is improving and growing.”
Udoma said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was focused on diversification of the economy in partnership with the private sector.
He said that government has remained focused on the implementation of the policies and programmes of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP despite the forth-coming general election in Nigeria.
The Budget Minister also highlighted the administration’s Social Investment Programme, whose components at targeting at solving the problems of unemployment, giving access to credit to petty traders and feeding school children.
In her presentation, Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said there is a clear and strategic focus to improve both oil and non-oil revenue by the administration.
Other ministers who gave overview of the activities and performances of their ministries in the past three years of the Buhari administration were those Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Agriculture Audu Ogbeh; and Industry Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.
The presentations of the ministers were followed by an interactive session during which questions, comments and suggestions were made by the members of the organized private sector, who attended the forum.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, former Minister of Industry, Mrs. Nike Akande, said she was impressed with what government was doing.
Akande, who is also the President of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD, said that there was need for government to talk more about the its policies, programmes and projects to enable people to know what is being done.
Also speaking, the National Vice President of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Auwal Ibrahim, said the government was doing a lot of work, without talking about it.
He called for more engagement between the government and the private sector in the implementation of the policies of government.