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Business News of Friday, 12 February 2021


Economic activities recovering, recording positive growth - FG

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The federal government has said that economic activities in Nigeria are recovering.

This, the government said, is reflected by a reduced contraction of 3.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the previous quarter.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said that some economic activities in the country are showing resilience by recording strong positive growth.

Zainab Ahmed made this disclosure at the recently held virtual Deloitte Economic Outlook 2021, where she outlined Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Plans For 2021.

Ahmed stated that, “by 2021, the economy will recover from the recession. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Nigerian economy will rebound from the estimated contraction of -3.2 per cent in 2020 to growth of 1.5 per cent in 2021. From 2023 to 2025, Nigeria’s growth is projected to surpass that of the advanced economies.”

Ahmed noted that “the following sectors recorded the biggest gains in GDP growth in Q3 2020: construction – 2.8 per cent; broadcasting – 3.5 per cent; quarrying and other mineral production 41.8 per cent; telecommunications 17.3 per cent; cement manufacturing 11.9 per cent; financial institutions 6.8 per cent; chemicals and pharmaceuticals 6.6 per cent; food and beverage manufacturing 5.6 per cent; and public administration – 3.6 per cent.”

Government’s hope for recovery, the finance minister said “is anchored on the various interventions introduced to cushion the negative consequences of the pandemic … While there is always a lag between intervention and outcome, we can already see benefits on the economy as recorded in the better-than-expected results for Q3 2020. Data for Q4 is expected from the NBS later this month”.

Some of the interventions she noted include, the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), N192.64 billion was disbursed to 426,016 beneficiaries under the COVID-19 TCF; Agri-business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) had disbursed N10.96 billion to 27,956 beneficiaries; health care support intervention facility disbursed N72.96 billion to 73 projects that comprise 26 pharmaceutical projects and 47 hospitals and health care services project in the country.

There are also the “Creative Industry Financing Initiative’s N3.12 billion to 320 beneficiaries and the Nigerian youth investment facility’s N268 million with 395 beneficiaries. The sum of N18.58 billion was provided for the procurement of 347,853 electricity reading meters to distribution companies in support of the National Mass Metering Programme.”

The finance minister stated that “in achieving economic recovery, the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) and Finance Act, 2020 will aid the economic recovery process of the Nigerian economy through initiatives and strategies that will grow fiscal revenues, improve the ease of doing business (EoDB), counteract the impact of oil price fluctuations and integrate fiscal, monetary and trade policies."

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