President Muhammadu Buhari has assessed his administration’s performances in various sectors of the economy in the outgoing year 2021, declaring that the recovery of the nation’s economy remained on a steady path throughout the year.
Buhari disclosed this in his January 1, 2022 message to Nigerians.
According to the President, the country recorded some significant achievements in the year despite the turbulence that characterised the economy.
The message, obtained by SaharaReporters, partly read, “We equally remember and commiserate with Nigerians who have lost loved ones as a result of insecurity in different parts of the country. Every life matters and every single death caused by any form of insecurity is a matter of personal concern to me both as a citizen and as the President of this great country.
“We remain fully committed to upholding the constitutional provisions that protect all Nigerians from any form of internal and external aggression.
“On the economy, we have shown a high level of resilience to record some significant achievements despite the turbulence that has characterised our economy and indeed the global economy. The lessons we have learned and keep learning from COVID-19 have encouraged us to intensify efforts to mitigate its socio-economic effects on our Nation.
“The major wins we have recorded can be clearly seen in Nigeria’s most recent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The 4.03% growth recorded in the third quarter of 2021 is indicative of the recovery being recorded in our economy and the confidence that is being shown through the policies that our Administration has put in place after the outbreak of the pandemic.
“We may also recall that this recent growth is closely followed by the 5.1% (year on year) growth in real terms recorded by Nigeria in Quarter 2 of 2021. This growth was one of the best recorded by any nation across Sub-Saharan Africa. The 5.1% growth at that time was and remains the highest growth recorded by the Nigerian economy since 2014.
“Despite the challenges we have faced as a Nation, the good news is that we have so far recorded four consecutive quarters of growth after the negative growth rates recorded in Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 of 2020 due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On August 16, 2021, I signed the landmark Petroleum Industry Act into law. The signing of this legacy legislation is a watershed moment in the history of our Nation, considering the massive positive impact the new Act would have on the economy. I would like to sincerely commend the 9th Assembly for the grit they demonstrated, succeeding where others have failed, and the cooperation that led to the completion of this process after almost two decades.
“Just like I stated during the investment trips and fora that I have attended recently, the legislation is expected to serve as a liberalizing force in the energy industry, and we are optimistic that this law will provide the much-needed legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the development of the energy sector, the host communities, and Nigeria as a Nation. Our objective to increase Liquefied Natural Gas exports and expand our domestic market is still very much at the forefront of some of the policies we would be pushing in the new year.
“In year 2022 and going forward, our administration would intentionally leverage ICT platforms to create jobs, while ensuring that the diversification of our economy creates more support to other emerging sectors. I am proud to announce that several foreign investors are taking advantage of our ranking as one of the leading start-up ecosystems in Africa to invest in our digital economy.”
Amidst the President’s claim, the country’s dwindling finances had come under intense pressure as the government is broke and has been amassing foreign loans.
For example, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, while doctors were on strike over poor allowance, had in September 2021 confirmed that the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari borrowed funds from international sources to pay salaries of workers because of a shortfall in the country’s revenue.
Ngige had said the government took borrowed funds from foreign institutions like the World Bank to offset some recurrent expenditures.
Also, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had in April 2021 admitted that Nigeria’s economy was facing a difficult time, saying borrowing was inevitable.