AfricaBusiness & Finance

Apart from successes recorded, I admit challenges do remain- Buhari

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The President, Muhammed Buhari has said that apart from the successes his administration have recorded, he admit that challenges do remain, given Nigeria dependence on crude oil revenues for close to 60 percent of government revenues, the recent decline in crude oil prices affects his administration ability to meet the infrastructure and human capital needs.

He made this known at the Dinner Session following The Conclusion of Going For Growth Roundtable Session in the State House, Abuja on Wednesday, he said his administration will help support continued growth of the Nigerian economy. He said, “apart from the successes we have recorded, I admit that challenges do remain. Given our dependence on crude oil revenues for close to 60 percent of government revenues, the recent decline in crude oil prices affects our ability to meet the infrastructure and human capital needs.

“I am delighted to note that we have made some progress in our diversification plans and in creating an enabling environment for the Nigerian private sector to thrive. In the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, we have seen substantial improvements in the cultivation and processing of key staple commodities such as rice, maize, cotton and tomatoes”, he said.

He said this government remains steadfast in seeking to promote growth of the Nigerian economy, and by extension the growth of the Nigerian private sector. “I am glad to note that following recent recession and supported by growth enhancing fiscal and monetary policy measures, GDP growth has remained in positive territory for the past 11 quarters.

The positive growth has been driven by grice in key sectors of our economy such as Agriculture, Industry, Oil and Gas, as well as ICT”. He added that the onset of the corona virus in December 2019, which has spread to over 100 countries is having a significant impact on global growth, as well as commodity prices such as crude oil, which has dropped by over 45 percent since January 2020.

“These external challenges have only served to reinforce the importance of ensuring that Nigeria is self-sufficient in the production of strategic goods. They have also highlighted the fact that we need to continue to implement measures that would enable growth in other sectors of our economy and reduce our dependence on earnings from crude oil. For these objectives to be achieved, the vital role of the Nigerian private sector cannot be disputed or overemphasized”, he said. He noted that a key focus of his administration has been diversification of the Nigerian economy and improving Nigeria’s level of self-sufficiency in food production.

“These measures would help support faster economic growth, create employment opportunities for our teeming youths, and reduce our import bill. “We have also worked to improve access to finance for businesses in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Access to credit is often cited as a constraint to the growth of farmers and small and medium sized businesses.

Over the past 10 months, we have seen significant improvements in credit to support continued growth of our economy”, he said. Also, he said with annual population rates, his administration must continue to support growth in sectors that have the ability to absorb the employment needs of Nigeria growing population.

“With our vast arable land as well as population, ample room for growth exist in our agriculture and manufacturing sectors”. Therefore he continued to welcome collaboration with the private sector. “The recommendations provided today on ways in which the private sector can support growth in key sectors such as Agriculture, Manufacturing, ICT, and Finance are necessary if we are to achieve double digit growth of our economy”.

“I assure you that this government would pay close attention to your recommendations, as part of our efforts towards developing policies and programs that will enable improved economic growth and creation of jobs”, he said.

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