Nigeria’s economy has recorded an unprecedented growth last year as it has been named the third fastest growing economy in the word behind Mongolia and China.
Briefing State House correspondents after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council Meeting, Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who was joined by the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, said the growth in the economy was a clear indication that “there is a lot of confidence in the Nigerian economy.”
Ngama, who presented a report on the country’s presentation during the recently concluded Islamic Development Bank Congress in Khartoum, Sudan noted that the growth noticed in the non-oil sector was particularly impressive, adding that government would continue to work on improving the economy.
He stated: “Today in council, I presented a report on the presentation made at the 37th Annual General Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank, IDB. The bank has 56 member countries and at annual general meeting, each country is expected to present a report on the economic development in the country. The aim is to educate ourselves about what is happening in our countries.
In the case of Nigeria, our report was actually the best. For the year, for the quarter which ended on 31st December, 2011, only about 46 countries have actually submitted their data and Nigeria was third in terms of GDP growth. We recorded a GDP growth of 7.68 per cent in real terms and this is largely due to growth in the non-oil sector.
“The previous year, 2010, the GDP growth was 8.4 per cent but last year, it dropped to 7.68 per cent because we had a negative growth in the oil sector. So, it means that the non-oil sector is actually resilient and strong enough to carry the economy forward with or without the oil sector.
“This actually placed us as the third fastest growing economy in the world, the first being Mongolia with 14. 9 per cent real growth rate, then China with 8.4 per cent real GDP growth rate followed by Nigeria with 7.68 per cent.
“But the more important story out of it is that as a nation, we have our Vision 202020, we have the objective of having one of the world strongest economies by year 2020.
All the other countries, apart from China, that are ahead of Nigeria are growing at a slower rate than Nigeria. When those ahead of you are growing slower, it means that in the next eight years, we will achieve our objective of being one of the strongest economies in the world. As at last December, our total GDP was more that N10 trillion and that is a growth that is unprecedented despite our challenges.”
Explaining how this growth has impacted on the lives of the ordinary Nigerian people, the minister said the “standard of living has improved in Nigeria as a result of this growth. As at December, 2011, our income per capita grew from $1200 to $1400 and this actually moved us from low income countries to middle lower income countries per World Bank classification.”
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