President Bola Tinubu

Tinubu addressing challenges arising from reforms, says presidential aide

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President Bola Tinubu is already taking measures to address the challenges brought about by the reforms introduced by the administration in all sectors of the economy.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, adding that more such measures would be taken in 2024.

He said Tinubu had never shied away from acknowledging the temporary pains triggered by the reforms, stressing that proactive measures would continue to be taken.

‘’Many of these measures are already being taken and in the New Year, we expect the silver linings, that are at present understated, to blossom into rays of sunshine to be experienced by all Nigerians.

‘’The removal of fuel subsidy and the move to merge foreign exchange rates, two headline reforms introduced by the Tinubu administration since late May.

“(It’s caused by) problems such as high fuel prices and the depreciation of the Naira, two monstrosities which combined to cause a general spike in costs of services and goods,’’ Onanuga said.

He said that the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics put Nigeria’s inflation at 26.7 per cent in September, which rose to 28.2 per cent in November from 27.33 per cent in October, adding that food inflation remained untamed.

Onanuga stated, ‘’The truth is that the new policies alone are not solely responsible for the economic problems we are facing today. We were destined for the tough and rough patch, where we are today because of the prevailing conditions before Tinubu took over on May 29.

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‘’As of June 2023, the budget deficit was N10.8 trillion. Actual debt service was 98.95 per cent of revenue, far higher than the projected 59.37 per cent.  Inflow into the country’s foreign reserve came in trickles.

‘’And so bad was the state of affairs that Nigeria could not remit about $800 million fund of foreign airlines. JP Morgan exposed our near insolvency by claiming in a report that our net foreign reserve was just about $3.7 billion, not the $33 billion-plus flaunted by Emefiele’s CBN.

‘’President Tinubu, who promised during the campaign to take hard and difficult decisions, moved to tackle the economic problems from Day One, by first dispensing with the wasteful fuel subsidy that was billed to consume about N7trillion this year, five times more than what was provisioned for capital spending.’’

He also said that the situation was, however, taking a positive turn with the NBS report of the third quarter of 2023, adding that the president was focused on turning the economy around for growth, development and prosperity.

‘’In its third quarter report for the year, the NBS reported that GDP grew by 2.54 per cent. In a similar period in 2022, GDP recorded a growth of 2.25%. To demonstrate that the sun may be shining on us again, the 2.54% GDP growth recorded in Q3, was also higher than the 2.51% recorded in Q2.

‘’The service sector, made up of information and communication, financial and insurance, was responsible for the growth witnessed in Q3. It had a 3.99% growth, contributing 52.7% of the aggregate GDP. The agriculture sector declined from 1.34% growth in Q2 to 1.3% in Q3.

‘’Growth was also recorded in construction and real estate, metal ores (69.76%), coal mining (58.03%), chemical and pharmaceutical products (6.77%), cement (4.2%) and construction (3.89%).

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‘’Oil reported a negative growth of 0.85%, a major improvement to the negative 22.67% recorded at the same period last year. It was 13.43% in Q2 of 2022.

‘’The improvement in the oil sector and its contribution to GDP has been attributed to the improvement in the security of oil infrastructure and operations, leading to increased production.,’ the President’s aide noted.

He said that there was a big jump in the volume of trade from N12.16 trillion in Q2 to N18.8 trillion, adding that trade volume in Q2 of 2022 was N12.28 trillion

‘’We also recorded a trade surplus of N1.89trillion in Q3, an increase from the N708.8 billion in Q2 2023. In Q3 of 2022, we recorded a trade deficit of N409.39 billion.

‘’Value of exports in the third quarter was N10.35 trillion, far higher by 60.78 per cent than the N6.44 trillion posted in Q2 2023. Crude oil dominated the export, accounting for 82.5 per cent, a confirmation that our country is pumping out more oil for export unlike the previous years”.


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