Nigeria’s economy growing under Tinubu – Minister

Nigeria’s economy expanded by 3% in the first quarter of this year, according to Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy Wale Edun yesterday.

He stated that the growth rate outpaced both the population growth rate of 2.4% and last year’s GDP growth rate of 2.31 percent.

Edun spoke on the prospects of consistent economic growth and increased government revenue during the ministerial scorecard presentation in Abuja.

He attributed the growth to the effective policies and strategies initiated by the Tinubu Administration.

The minister highlighted the importance of agriculture in driving economic progress and reducing inflation, noting that the sector grew by 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year from a decline of 0.9 per cent in the same period last year.

Edun said: “There is still significant untapped potential in this sector.

“Talking to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, I learned that the ongoing dry season harvest is promising.

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“Coupled with state-level initiatives, such as special agriculture processing zones, we expect a significant increase in food production.

“This will not only boost the economy but also help tackle inflation, as food prices constitute 50 per cent of our inflation index.”

Edun expressed optimism that a good wet season would further reduce inflation by increasing food availability, adding that lower inflation would allow monetary authorities to stabilise the exchange rate, lower interest rates, and spur investment.

The minister said the chain reaction would boost productivity, create jobs, and ultimately reduce poverty.

Edun said the sustenance of President Tinubu’s agenda, both at the state and federal levels, is crucial to growth and improvement in the living standards of Nigerians.

The minister highlighted key initiatives of the government, including the protection of the poor and vulnerable during the time of high inflation.

Edun, who chairs the presidential panel on social investment programmes, announced the restart of direct payments to the poorest households.

He said the programme would assist, at least, 75 million Nigerians (15 million households) with N75 million in immediate payments.

Edun said to ensure transparency, the programme would leverage a robust system developed in collaboration with various ministries, including Communications and Digital Economy, Health, and Youth.

Edun alluded to a substantial revamp in revenue generation, underscored by the government’s ability to service its debts without resorting to borrowing, especially from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through Ways and Means.

He said international and domestic debt obligations are being met promptly due to improved financial management and the National Assembly’s insistence on proper handling of public funds.

The minister explained that Nigeria has cleared outstanding payments, including a $200 million shareholding in the Islamic Development Bank, which has restored international confidence and national pride.

On wages, Edun clarified that the recently introduced wage award set a minimum standard for both the private and public sectors.

He said the measure would ensure fair compensation and set the stage for ongoing discussions to reach satisfactory conclusions.

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