Budget minister, Udoma, says economic outlook positive

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said on Thursday Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2018 is very positive.

Udoma, according to a statement by his Media Adviser, Akpandem James, during a presentation at the Financial Times Nigeria Summit, said the government was rolling out initiatives, such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan focus labs, aimed at attracting sufficient private sector investments to ensure that the country would achieve the growth target of seven per cent by 2020.

The minister said though the present administration inherited a challenged economy, it had succeeded in turning the situation around as the economy was now out of recession and growing again.

He recalled that the collapse of oil prices in the global market from $111.8 in June 2014 to as low as $30.7 in January 2016, and with no fiscal buffers, set the country’s economy on a downward spiral.

This, he noted, culminated in a recession by the second quarter of 2016.

The minister explained that as part of the implementation of the ERGP, there had been substantial increase in capital allocations to priority sectors such as infrastructure and agriculture, with capital releases of over N1.2tn under the 2016 budget, and almost N1.5tn under the 2017 budget.

He said some of reform measures, such as the work being done by the Presidential Enabling Business Council, had resulted in the country becoming recognised by the World Bank as one of the top 10 reforming countries in the world.

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