Economy’ll perform better this year, says Udoma
The Nigerian economy will be significantly better this year going by the consistent positive trend of key indicators since the country emerged from recession in the second quarter of last year, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has said.
Udoma, who spoke at the 2018 Economic Outlook Forum of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Kings Court Parish, in Lagos on Saturday, according to a statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister, Akpandem James, on Sunday said that the positive sentiments were shared by most international and local rating agencies, who support the view that the Nigerian economy was poised to grow rapidly this year.
The minister indicated that the growth would create opportunities for investment in areas such as agriculture and agro-processing, industry, mining, construction and services.
According to him, confidence has returned to the economy, as evidenced by the 131.3 per cent growth in the value of capital importation in the third quarter of 2017 over the amount recorded in the second quarter.
Udoma also pointed out that foreign reserves, which were on the decline when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari took over in 2015, had now risen from $23.81bn in September 2016 to $40.4bn currently.
He also referred to the stable exchange rate and the narrowing gap between the Central Bank of Nigeria’s foreign exchange rate and the parallel market rate, as well as the declining inflation rate, which moved from 18.72 per cent in January 2016 to 15.90 per cent by November 2017 as the reasons for optimism.