Unlike many Nigerians would expect from a country that is witnessing some of the toughest times in history. Reports have revealed that the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari has recorded a 7 times increase in the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed, speaking at a news conference on Thursday said that the economy has become more buoyant and attractive to investors. According to Mrs. Ahmed, the primary factor responsible for this change and improvement in the economy of the country is the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
She said that the administration developed the ERGP in 2017, which has shifted the Nigerian economy from recession to a part of the growth that is sustainable, inclusive as well as diversified. She re-emphasized that the most remarkable part of their achievement is the realization of seven quotas of GDP growth since the economy recovered from the recession in the second quarter of 2017. Since Nigerians have complained bitterly about the administration, it may be difficult to believe what the numbers are saying, but the truth is that there are indicators that may prove this right.
First, the foreign exchange window introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2017 now averages $1,000 weekly and boasts of a turnover of $47.14 billion in the first year. Secondly, more than 5 million new taxpayers have been added to the country’s tax database since 2017, which increased the tax revenue in the country to N1.17 trillion or $324.5 billion. The introduction of the new treasury single account by the government must have been key to this development.
Thirdly, the contribution of the solid mineral sector of the economy rose from N700 million in 2015, to N3.5 billion in 2017. Again, about 14 blending plants for fertilizers have been revitalized in the country following the Presidential Fertilizer initiative introduced by president Muhammadu Buhari. The total installed excess power capacity for this project is 2 million mega terra hash, while the benefit of the project includes an annual savings of $200 million and N60 billion in annual budgetary provisions. This project has also reduced the cost of these fertilizers by about 30%, which makes it even more affordable for farmers.
The Nigerian Bank of Industry has also released more than 160 billion naira in loans since 2016, establishing a N5 billion fund for artisans and miners. This project was created through the Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals development programme to boost mining activities in Nigeria.
Despite all these and some other beautiful developments like the N-Power and N-Build programmes created to stop the challenge of graduate unemployment in the country, Nigerians still believe that the Muhammadu Buhari led administration has failed the nation. They cite that there are more poor people now than ever in the country, and the issue of insecurity is rising rapidly with the latest being the kidnap of a university lecturer for a ransom of N5.45 million cash.
Suicide is now becoming the order of the day in this country. Youths now love the idea of drinking snipper or allowing themselves to swing after tying a rope to the ceiling. It is shocking and terrible, but there is more bad news than good ones about Nigeria each day. So while some are complaining and others taking to ruthless acts like armed robbery and kidnapping, or internet fraud, there may still be some good things going on that we may not be able to realize early enough because everything seems terrible.