Transformation Agenda On Course, Economy Growing In Right Direction, Says Maku

FROM LEFT: PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, DR FOLASHADE ESAN; THE MINISTER, MR LABARAN MAKU AND ACTING MANAGING DIRECTOR, NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA (NAN), OTUNBA JIDE ADEBAYO, AT THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION'S MONTHLY WORLD NEWS CONFERENCE IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY
FROM LEFT: PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, DR FOLASHADE ESAN; THE MINISTER, MR LABARAN MAKU AND ACTING MANAGING DIRECTOR, NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA (NAN), OTUNBA JIDE ADEBAYO, AT THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION’S MONTHLY WORLD NEWS CONFERENCE IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY

The Federal Government said on Tuesday that it had surpassed its growth targets in eight out of the 14 broad sectors of the Nigerian economy under the Transformation Agenda.

The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, stated this in Abuja at the monthly news conference on the performance of the economy and the power sector.

Maku listed the sectors as solid minerals, financial institution and insurance, building and construction, transport, education, road and estate, public administration and agriculture.

According to him, the feat acheived is an indication that the Transformation Agenda is on course and that the economy is growing in the right direction.

He said that claims by some analysts that the nation had gone bankrupt and that the economy was performing poorly was deceptive.

The minister said that apart from the unprecedented growth recorded in some sectors, other micro and macro-economic indices sanctioned by reputable global organisations had indicated growth in the economy.

Maku said that the most interesting thing about Nigeria’s economic growth pattern was that the GDP growth was largely driven by the non-oil sector.

“There is something that Nigerians need to know about this economy that has been run down by some pessimists, and that is the growth, which is driven largely by the non-oil sector of the economy.

“Agriculture has recorded 27.64 per cent, wholesale and retail trade has 28.4 per cent, telecommunications – 24.38 per cent.

“Foreign Direct Investments averaged 7.97 billion dollars in 2011 and 2012 from 6.10 billion dollars in 2010 and is still the highest in Africa.

“Home remittances increased from 19.20 billion dollars in 2009 to 20.61 billion dollars in 2011 and 21.89 billion dollars in 2012, Gross External reserves improved from 32.34 billion dollars in 2010, to 48.8 billion dollars as of April 26, 2013”.

On the administration’s anti-corruption campaign, Maku said the administration had adopted electronic means to block leakages in the system and minimise waste.

According to the minister, N118.9 billion has been saved from 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) under the electronic payroll system.

He reiterated government’s resolve to block avenues for corruption in public service, hence the resolve to adopt automated means of resource management.

“What we are doing is to tackle problems from the root and a lot of leakages are being blocked and by the time we finish what we are doing, there will be sanity in the system.

“What we had in the system in the past that promoted corruption was poor system that was prone to manipulation by some individuals and that is what we are trying to do”.

On complaints by some states about the drop in allocations, Maku said it was worrisome that states were still looking up to the Federal Government for all their resources.

He said that states must develop other mechanisms to generate their resources and build new systems to become self sustaining.

Maku said that the fluctuation in the monthly allocations to all tiers of government was a wake-up call on state governments to find alternative sources of funding their budgets.

He dismissed claims that the fluctuations were signs of cracks and weakness in the economy, noting that it was normal for every thriving economy to experience challenges in cash flows.

Maku said any state that was depending solely on the Federal Government for the development of its territory was doing so at its own peril.

He said the recent endorsement of the economy by a renowned global economy rating institution, was an indication that the Nigerian economy was in stable condition. (NAN)

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