DAILY FILE – Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says President Muhammadu Buhari remains the best person to prevent the Nigerian economy from collapsing.
Shehu was reacting to an accusation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Buhari is ruining the nation’s economy by leading it to be the world’s poverty capital.
The opposition party also accused the president of holding Nigerians hostage.
But Shehu, in a statement issued on Wednesday, argued that while there was less economic activity during the electoral cycle, current reports on the pages of newspapers show that there is improved business activity in the country.
“While foreign direct investment can help, it is not the only source of investment in the economy. There is also domestic investment which is either undertaken by the government or by the private sector,” Shehu said.
“It is also noteworthy that capital importation into Nigeria grew by 216 percent in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the last quarter of 2018.
“A look at business pages in newspapers shows that there is a lot of business activity going on in the country.
“Two stories in today’s paper point to increasing economic activity.
“First is that the profit of UACN grew in the first half of this year by 61 per cent.
“Second is that Business Day (pg1) states that cargo imports jumped by 21 per cent in the first half of 2019. Increasing imports is a pointer to greater economic activity and the availability of foreign exchange with which to conduct business.”
Shehu said that in Buhari’s first four years, he improved relations with China, US and Europe and had won their support for the administration’s development agenda.
He also said the president “channeled unprecedented sums of money” into infrastructure development, adding that capital spending had been kept at about 30 percent of annual budgets.
“Construction of roads, highways, public transport and airports have sharply increased. Government is spending heavily on power,” he said.
“This, combined with private sector investment has grown generation capacity to 13 megawatts.
“All said and done, President Buhari remains the best hope for the Nigerian economy. The country needs change and this remains the person with the will and determination to deliver.”
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