President Muhammadu Buhari Friday highlighted the efforts of his government to rebuild Nigerian economy and put the nation on the path of sustainable growth.
In a national broadcast to mark the 2020 democracy day, Buhari gave an account of his stewardship.
Noting that in his 2019 Democracy Day address, he promised to frontally address the nation’s daunting challenges, especially insecurity, economy and corruption, he said therefore he found it necessary to give an account of his stewardship on this day.
He said: “We have recorded notable achievements in the course of implementing our nine priority objectives and are establishing a solid foundation for future success.
“On the economic front, our objectives have remained to stabilize the macroeconomy, achieve agricultural and food security, ensure energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products, develop infrastructure, fight corruption and improve governance.
“We have witnessed eleven quarters of consecutive GDP growth since exiting recession. The GDP grew from 1.91% in 2018 to 2.27% in 2019 but declined to 1.87% in the first quarter of 2020 as a result of the decline in global economic activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, every single economy in the world suffered a decline but in the case of Nigeria it had been relatively moderate.
Speaking further, he said: “In order to stabilize the economy, the Monetary Authority took steps to build the external reserves which resulted in improved liquidity in the foreign exchange market. The external reserves grew from $33.42 billion on April 29th 2020 to about $36.00 billion in May, 2020 which is enough to finance seven months of import commitments.
“Agriculture remains the key to our economic diversification strategy. The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative programme continues to deliver significant quantities of affordable and high-quality fertilizers to our farmers. This initiative has also revived 31 blending plants and created a significant number of direct and indirect jobs across the value chain.
“ Government is also revamping the cotton, textile and garment sector via a CBN Textile Revival Intervention Fund that would considerably reduce foreign exchange spent on cotton and other textile imports.”