The Presidency insisted that Nigeria needs change and President Muhammadu Buhari remains the best hope for the nation’s economy because of his will and determination to deliver.
The presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said this while debunking a statement made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja on Wednesday that the Nigerian economy is in trouble under the current government.
Garba Shehu, who described the PDP’s assertion as untrue, lectured the party on the Buhari administration’s economic scorecard.
He noted that in keeping with historical trends, there was less economic activity during the electoral cycle. However, the economy grew by 2.35 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and 3.96 percent in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to 5.94 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. He added:
“While foreign direct investment can help, it is not the only source of investment in the economy. There is also domestic investment which is either undertaken by the government or by the private sector.
“It is also noteworthy that capital importation into Nigeria grew by 216 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the last quarter of 2018.”
He further noted that the foreign portfolio investment, which is still foreign investment, was 7.14 billion dollars in the first quarter of the year.
“A look at business pages in newspapers shows that there is a lot of business activity going on in the country.
“Two stories in today’s paper point to increasing economic activity.
“First is that the profit of UACN grew in the first half of this year by 61 per cent.
“Second is that Business Day (pg1) states that cargo imports jumped by 21 per cent in the first half of 2019. Increasing imports is a pointer to greater economic activity and the availability of foreign exchange with which to conduct business.
The presidential aide observed that a major constraint to business was the Apapa gridlock which a number of companies had listed as the major impediment to doing business.
He, however, noted that this situation had been improved tremendously.
Shehu revealed that, in his first four years, Buhari improved relations with China, the U.S. and Europe and had won their support for the administration’s development agenda.
He also disclosed that the President had channelled unprecedented sums of money into infrastructure development, saying that capital spending had been kept at about 30 per cent of annual budgets.
“Construction of roads, highways, public transport and airports have sharply increased. Government is spending heavily on power.
“This, combined with private sector investment has grown generation capacity to 13 megawatts.
“All said and done, President Buhari remains the best hope for the Nigerian economy. The country needs change and this remains the person with the will and determination to deliver,” he added.