- As Adeosun tells World Bank: We’re chasing those who stole our money
After almost a year of negative growth that resulted in the collapse of businesses, the Nigerian economy is looking up, signalling an end of the recession, the World Economics, said yesterday.
However, the body cautioned that “conditions remain difficult for businesses,”
World Economics is a London-based organisation dedicated to producing financial analysis, insight and data relating to questions of key importance to the global economy.
It said: “April Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) data suggests that the Nigerian economy is continuing to grow out of the recession which saw 10 months of consecutive contraction in 2016.”
It indicated in a release published on its website, that the Market Growth Index grew to 58.5 in April as the monthly Sales Growth Index ticked up to 56.7, its highest value since 2015, giving an indication of rapid growth. It said price inflation for April, which is tracked by the Prices Charged Index, remained high at 58.7 – indicative of high levels of inflation. However, this has started to moderate for the past few months.
The Special Adviser on Media Matters to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, James Akpandem, said statistical analyses and economic experts’ assessments clearly indicated that the economy was coming out of recession.
“The latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics which details significant aspects of economic activities in the first quarter of this year, clearly showed that inflationary trends are coming down, while the major fundamentals are increasingly showing positive outlook.
“That showed that the economy is coming out of recession,” Akpandem said.
“The statistics are very clear on that and if you also listen to our economic experts, that is what they are saying; some of them had been predicting the trend before now,” he said.
“For instance, at least one of the banks and some notable economists predicted that inflation would be going down and the current indicators showed that the economy is coming out of recession,” Akpandem said.
Nigeria’s economy receded at the end of Q2 in 2016 after falling oil prices ate deep into the country’s earnings and caused the naira to weaken thereby causing inflation to spiral upward. Spates of attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta by militants, who were protesting for better deals from the government, almost crippled oil production.
In the meantime, Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, yesterday, told the World Bank and parliamentarians from across the world that the whistle-blowing policy of the Federal Government was very successful.
Speaking at the global parliamentary conference hosted on the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF spring meetings in Washington DC, the minister highlighted Nigeria’s economic reform agenda and the need for strong executive and legislative collaboration.
She said: “We are going after those who have stolen our money. We have put in place a very successful whistleblower programme that is delivering results, and allows those who report illicit activity to receive up to 5 percent any funds that we recover.
“We are also significantly improving our financial management controls to ensure that it is considerably more difficult for public funds to be diverted. We have to do more though and that means collaboration with the legislature.
“We need tighter tax and financial reporting legislation and to ratify bilateral agreements so that our enforcement agencies are empowered to deliver the results that we need.” The whistle-blowing policy has aided the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in making recoveries across the country.
Adeosun also called for greater focus on collaboration in battling illicit financial flows from Africa, adding that this was a core pillar of the government’s strategy to significantly enhance domestic government revenue and deliver sustainable economic growth.
Citizen with additional report from Vanguard