The Federal Government’s economic reforms to attract investments in 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 is said to yield over 83.9 billion dollars.
Mr Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Wednesday, said the figure was given in the 2018 Making Business Work report.
He said the report was presented to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on July 31 by the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat, during the monthly meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
On capital investments, Akande said over 66 billion dollar worth of investments comprising 112 projects across 27 states and the FCT Abuja were announced in 2017.
He said an additional 17.9 billion dollars worth of investments were announced in quarter one of 2018, as actual capital importation stood at 6.3 billion dollars, representing over six times the value in quarter one of 2017.
Akande explained that measurable progress had been recorded in multiple fronts as the economy responded to key government interventions especially in, foreign exchange and external reserves, capital market, infrastructure and social investment programmes.
“Looking at the journey so far, the report indicated that under economic growth, the rigorous implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) led the economy out of a recession in 2017.
“It grew to 0.83per cent, up from -1.58per cent recorded in 2016, on the back of improvements in agriculture, industry and trade.
“Akande said the economy has registered four consecutive quarters of steady growth.
“In the first quarter of 2018, the economy grew 1.95per cent and is projected to grow by up to three per cent over the year.
“Also for the first time in Nigeria, under the competitiveness section of ERGP, soft infrastructure is recognised as a deliberate strategy to attain economic development,’’ Akande quoted the report as saying.
Akande said the report recognised government’s efforts in improving the effectiveness of the system of government, financial, educational, health care, law enforcement systems in the country.
He said: “”Nigeria’s reforms have so far seen it successfully move 24 places up the World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings.
“Overall, in the current reform cycle, the PEBEC focused on three pillars to accelerate and expand the impact of completed reforms.
“It will focus on deepening existing reforms, complete pending initiatives and ensure implementation of completed reforms launched in 2017, including communication and consequence management, as well as making the reforms sustainable.”
On inflation, Akande said the pressure on prices had eased and inflation fell 16 consecutive months from 18.72per cent in Jan. 2017 to 11.60per cent in May 2018.
He said the capital market recorded an outstanding performance in 2017.
He said the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rallied 42per cent and emerged the third-best performing exchange in the world in 2017 (after the USA and Argentina).
Akande expressed optimism that the PEBEC would in 2018/2019, continue to improve public service delivery and the business environment for MSMEs.
He said:“ “Nigeria must improve its ranking by 45 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index over the next two years to achieve its goal of attaining the top 100 by 2020.
“Such an ambitious goal requires accelerated and focused execution and the National Action Plan 6.0 (NAP 6.0) and Executive Order 01 (EO1) have laid the foundations.
“Also, government must institutionalise all efforts and work closely with the private sector to deliver an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”
He further said the PEBEC, in the second half of 2018 and into 2019, would focus primarily on regulators, an Omnibus Bill on business facilitation, and consolidating gains for the economy.
This, he said would be done through deepening of the Subnational Ease of Doing Business project.