The Nigerian economy received much attention and was recognized as one of the fastest growing economies in the world between 2010 and 2014. Yet, when oil prices fell in 2014, the economy contracted ad eventually slipped into a recession by 2016. The economy recovered from the recession and we witnessed 11 quarters of consecutive GDP growth since exiting the recession. The GDP grew from 0.8%in 2017 to 2.6% in 2019 but declined in the first quarter of 2020 to 1.9% and we entered another recession in the third quarter of 2020 as a result of the downward trend in global economic activities caused by the impact of covid-19 pandemic. The second quarter of 2020 resulted in a contraction in GDP growth to 6.1% and the third quarter of 2020, a further contraction for the second time in 2020 at 3.6% indicated we were in a recession. Though we were in a recession, our experience was better when compared to some advanced and other emerging market countries.
To accelerate the recovery and growth of the economy beyond 2021, the Federal Government has approved and funded an export expansion facility. This will be used to promote export financing, export infrastructure (such as setting up of export warehouses), capacity development for exporters and to facilitate market across for exporters to regional and global markets.
In response to the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic, the FG has developed the N2.3tn Economic sustainability Plan, which consists of fiscal, monetary and sectoral measures to enhance local production, support businesses, retain and create jobs and provide succor to Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.
In addition, the FG through the CBN of Nigeria has provided a N1tn Intervention Fund for the manufacturing sector which will ensure a more resilient and self-reliant economy by ensuring funds are available to build a base of high-quality infrastructure.
In order to turn this into reality, we’re focused on enhancing the efficiency of port operations, a critical step to securing a greater share of the global non-oil export market.
In addressing our infrastructure deficit, we are currently engaged with the Presidency to fast-track the development of productive infrastructure by directing the further easing of participation by the private sector in the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, which will help in improving farm-to-factory-to-market networks, as the scheme will enable and encourage private sector participation in road construction and refurbishment.
The Punch, 19 January 2021
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