Nigerian Economy Remains under Great Threat, US Warns 

  • Udoma: Steps taken to reflate economy got the nation out of recession

By Ndubuisi Francis, Paul Obi and Udora Orizu in Abuja 

The United States military yesterday warned that the Nigerian economy remains under great threat following the surge in criminal activities in the Niger Delta and the threats by militants to resume bombing of oil facilities in the region. The rise in lawless activities around the Gulf of Guinea was also identified as another threat to Nigeria’s economy. 

 The warning from the Commander of the United States Naval Forces in charge of Europe and Africa, Admiral Michelle Howard, is coming amid a ray of hope by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that Nigeria was now out of economic recession with a growth rate of 0.55 per cent.  

Howard, who was speaking while presenting the US Presidential Medal of Honour to Nigeria’s Deputy Military Attachee to the US, Navy Captain Kolawole Oguntuda, at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja said: “Oil extraction and production accounts for 75% of Nigeria’s revenue with the vast majority of oil infrastructure existing off shore or really close inshore. So terrorism, criminal networks, illegal bunkering with damages of oil pipeline directly threatens Nigeria economy. 

“That is where navies come in. I, as the commander, regards the Nigerian Navy as a key regional partner in securing the Gulf of Guinea and I seek to strengthen our relationship by assisting in economic security and enhancing regional stability.” 

Speaking, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas assured that the Nigerian Navy was ready and capable of containing threats posed by the Niger Delta militants. 

“We actually don’t need people from outside to tell us how strategic Nigerian Navy is in securing our environment, maritime space and the Gulf of Guinea. 

“The maritime environment has seen a spate of piracy attacks, robbery, especially last year. We also saw some elements of resource theft, including illegal fishing in our waters, human trafficking, arms trafficking as well as drug trafficking, not to mention waste dumbing and environmental concerns.

“The strategic role Nigeria plays is what has brought in America.  For the threats you mentioned in the Niger Delta, one thing I want to assure you is that so long as human beings exist, there will always be conflicts, and once there are conflicts, there would always be ways of resolving those conflicts. 

“For Nigerian Navy, we will continue to build our capacity and capabilities to enable us contain such threats,” Ibas stated. 

On securing Nigeria’s maritime territory, the CNS added: “If Nigeria is the main concern to look at in the sub-region, Nigeria therefore becomes an important country for those who have interest in this region, to come and have conversation to see how they can enhance the maritime law enforcement agencies, in this case, the Nigerian Navy in particular, to see how we can make the maritime environment secured and promote trade and prosperity in the region. 

“US government has always been offering us support. The sea do not belong to any particular individual, they are global commons, and transnational crimes that occur, means that from one country to the other, your security can be compromised if the sea space is not properly governed.

“So, for US, wherever they have interest, they are ready to provide the needed support. And I think it stands for Nigeria also, where we have to ensure that the Gulf of Guinea is secured, including the security of neighbouring states.”

Udoma: Steps Taken to Reflate Economy Got Nigeria Out of Recession

In a related development, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma has declared that the steps taken by the federal government to reflate the economy through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) culminated in the country exiting recession in the second quarter of 2017.

Udoma, who was a guest of Arise TV, the broadcast arm of the THISDAY Media Group, recalled that earlier in the year, the Buhari administration unveiled its flagship programme – Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) – “that sets out strategy for the next four years on what we intend to do to get the economy firstly out of recession and on to a sustained diversified inclusive growth.”

According to the minister, the target was to achieve a 7 per cent growth by 2020, adding that focusing on the five execution priorities of the ERGP helped in seeing the economy out of contraction.

Udoma added: “The steps that we have been taking to reflate the economy, to make it easier to do business, focused on the five execution priorities – stabilising the macroeconomic framework, agriculture, transportation, power and energy and manufacturing. These are things that have helped to get us out of the recession and those are things that are going to get us into the path of sustaining it.”

The Budget and National Planning Minister said the administration was taking some measures to ensure that the economy takes a firm footing.

He said: “What we are trying to do basically is to diversify the economy. It is true I do agree that at the moment we are dependent on one commodity – crude oil. That is something that we inherited and our plan is to move out of that dependency, but to move out of that dependency, we need the resources from crude oil and that is why we have a lot of initiatives in the Niger Delta to try and get oil production back.

“Yes, we are dependent but our plan is to move out of that dependency and therefore we are putting a lot of resources on agriculture and agriculture has been moving up, production has moved up. We are putting a lot of resources as well as to get manufacturing going, and in the 2017 Budget, we allocated funds for special economic zones in each of the geo-political zones of Nigeria. 

  • Mazi JO

    Sometimes the best advice comes from unexpected, non-leaning and non-aligned minds. A word is enough for the wise. The truth is always bitter and irksome. Learn from this statement. A bottoming economy from recession has so many vulnerabilities that’s what we should know. A relapse or a growth pattern is what she figures which way you desire to tread given the chaos in our politics.

  • Darcy

    This is mischievous. The US military does not convey the opinions of the United States Government. Even then, the United states is not a major part of our economy. If I recall, India, China and even the Netherlands are all larger importers of our products.

  • Eze Aru Chikezie

    No amount of comments can change the wickedness to Nigerians!!!

  • metamopholis01

    Bad politics bad economy

  • okenwa

    People that comments here self.

  • LuisKing

    what does US got to do with Nigeria’s economy? they won’t see anything good about Nigeria.

  • Chi

    They just want our oil. Everything else is grammar.

  • jide

    usa should mind its business

    • Romla

      A wise person listens even to the babble of babies.We tend to say “mind your business” and then when the problem overwhelms us,we call for assistance.
      No warning is foolish.Warnings are meant to be listened to with an open mind, and precautions put in place.

      • jide

        you are extremely dumb, its laughable. how is it a warning when we already know??? everyone already knows they treating to bomb to oil why does usa need to tell us what everyone already knows and call it a warning??? also why is usa even in nigeria????? usa is destroyer not a builder , if they are in your country they are there for their interests not yours , only a worldclass mumu wouldn’t know that in 2017.

        • Romla

          Yes the typical ignoramus,know it all.If you knew everything,you will have simple pipe borne water and stable electricity.Life does not begin and end with throwing noisy “owambe” parties.Totally senseless people like you condemn every advice,and then when problem rears it’s head you think God will suddenly send solution from the sky.God is not a God of fools like you.
          Yes illiterates like you in your motor park discussions always call more advanced countries,colonialists,destroyers etc.You queue outside their embassies for visas,go to their countries for work,education,medical help and have to import even the simplest of technology from them,thereafter you condemn everything about them.Bloody hypocrite.

          • jide

            you aren’t making sense, let me ask, what is your level of intelligence?? what does “if you know everything you will have simple pipe borne water and stable electricity” have to do with militant blowing up the oil in niger delta???? 0%, zero no correlation at all, absolutely none, go back to faming in the bush , you don’t belong in a community were people use their brain, you sound dumber than my dog.

          • Romla

            I have had exchanges with a lot of intelligent people on this forum.I don’t waste too much time with sensless imbeciles.

          • jide

            you are dumber than a rock, dummy, mr dumb dumb.

        • The Rt. or Lft. Hon NinjaK

          Real pity 4u bro.
          Bottom line is that your Armed Forces (Navy inclusive) are far better off at manhandling defenceless civilians rather than do their constitutional work as defined. They are always the one that fails at war, and then shout loudly for US help all the time. We saw all that happened in Borno, and how common ragtag BH made them run for cover in many instances.
          Just thank US for the way they keep giving us their discarded small military ships & equipment all of the time – for which your chiefs of military staff go & recieve/commission with fanfare everytime. But then, if the average Nigerian usually celebrates buying a “new tokunbo” car, then why wont the Navy/Army/Airforce too not celebrate getting 2nd hand stuff for free?
          Romla made very good sense!

          • jide

            stop talking you sound like a dumb faggot, why do i keep meeting people who have the brain of a one year old online??, nigeria buys the plane nothing is free, usa doesn’t give even a tooth pick for free. get lost , you sound dumb as a rock. go to iraq the usa helped iraq very well.

          • The Rt. or Lft. Hon NinjaK

            People like you only read for exams – and really make me very very sorry for Nigeria. Here are few of the numerous donations below for your dumb brain to assimiliate ……..

            1. MAY 2011 –
            2. JAN 2015 –

            PS – Whenever you dont know things…… just shut your crap up!

          • jide

            ok i will give you a car with no engine that i used in 1930s and tell you to use almost $8 million to repair and call it free!!!, you are sick in the brian, dummy, mr dumb dumb, nothing is free in usa , nothing!!!

          • The Rt. or Lft. Hon NinjaK

            Car with no engine….fine.
            The car is free, the engine is not – simple.
            If your govt could afford costs of military equipments then why not just “no thank you” to the Americans?
            Mumu American advocate!

        • FrNinja

          The USA has a defence budget bigger than the Nigerian economy. They have satellites, submarines and intelligence on Nigeria. It would pay Nigeria to listen and learn from the americans about naval security.

          • jide

            tell it to iraq

      • The Rt. or Lft. Hon NinjaK

        kudos man.

      • M.O.S.S.

        Yes, we should listen but it would have been appropriate to also mention critical issues like the scourge of herdsmen, boko haram insurgency, political resistance to anti corruption, etc. These are quite serious challenges. Why speak only about oil?

        • Romla

          Good point.Remember though they spoke about the possibility of religious radicalism growing into terrorism and many said not Nigeria.Nigerians enjoy life too much to turn themselves into suicide bombers.
          They also warned about the growing possibility of political disintegration by 2015.Yes they missed the year,but the various agitations for self determination prove they were not totally wrong.Even some of our so called leaders at the time called them doomsday preachers.
          The point is take whatever warning in good faith and guard against it,no matter the source or skepticism about the motives.

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